Monday, August 24, 2015

Food News

Helping Hands

GBE Chilliwack Heirloom Organic Farm gets major financing break

By Kate Hudson, CuratorPR/Photos submitted

 

Former Canadian Football League player, Michael Allen, along with his wife accept oversized cheque in West Vancouver from Whole Foods Market on Friday.

 

hole Foods Market announced today that GBE Chilliwack Heirloom Organic Farm has received a $60,000 low-interest loan as part of the company’s Local Producer Loan Program. Through this program, Whole Foods Market is committed to providing $25 million in low-interest loans to local growers, producers and food artisans.

 

Founded in 2007 and located in Chilliwack, BC, GBE Chilliwack Heirloom Organic Farm operates the second largest organic greenhouse in Western Canada and it is the largest supplier of heirloom organic produce in BC with over 25 acres of greenhouse and field heirloom produce. GBE cultivates over 15 varieties of heirloom tomatoes, growing over 100 varieties in the past eight years, as well as peppers, beans, watermelons, basil, eggplant, kale, blueberries and heritage Jamaican callaloo – including the only commercial volume for organic, Chilliwack sweet corn in BC.

 

With the Whole Foods Market financing, GBE will purchase new equipment to improve the farm’s operational efficiency and enhance growing production.

 

“The first time I met Michael Allen and his family, I was struck by their passion for organic growing practices and their commitment to giving customers the very best-tasting produce on the market,” said Denise Breyley, Whole Foods Market’s Local Forager in the Pacific Northwest. “They have built an incredible business and have cultivated a customer base who loves their product. It’s thrilling to partner with them on the next chapter of their success story.”

 

There will be a cheque presentation ceremony for GBE on Thursday, August 20that the West Vancouver Whole Foods Market during Meet the Makers, an event series for shoppers to get to know local farmers, ranchers, makers, producers and artisans. 

 

“We’re grateful to have the support of Denise and the entire Whole Foods Market team as we continue to scale our business and increase our yield of quality organic produce that tastes great right here in BC,” said Michael Allen, founder and owner of GBE Chilliwack Heirloom Organic Farm. “Ultimately, this loan is an investment in our shared commitment to organic farming practices.”

 

Background on the Local Producer Loan Program

Helping local producers flourish has been a goal at Whole Foods Market since its inception. In addition to offering local products in stores, Whole Foods Market’s Local Producer Loan Program provides fixed low-interest loans from $1,000 to $100,000 to local and independent food businesses. Launched in 2006, the program has granted $14 million thus far to loan recipients that meet Whole Foods Market’s quality standards, use the funds for expansion and have a viable business plan.

 

From helping local partners purchase more animals, invest in new equipment or convert to organic production, Whole Foods Market is committed to supporting budding food businesses in the communities Whole Foods Market serves. 

 

About Whole Foods Market
Founded in 1980 in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market (wholefoodsmarket.com, NASDAQ: WFM), is the leading natural and organic food retailer. The company's motto, “Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet”™ captures its mission to ensure customer satisfaction and health, Team Member excellence and happiness, enhanced shareholder value, community support and environmental improvement. Thanks to the company’s more than 88,000 Team Members, Whole Foods Market has been ranked as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in America by FORTUNE magazine for 15 consecutive years. In fiscal year 2013, the company had sales of $12.9 billion and currently has 411 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

 

About GBE Chilliwack Heirloom Organic Farm

Founded in 2007, GBE Chilliwack Heirloom Organic Farm is owned and operated by retired professional Canadian Football League (CFL) player, Michael Allen, along with his wife and six children. Located in Chilliwack, BC, GBE operates the second largest organic greenhouse in Western Canada and it is the largest supplier of heirloom organic produce in British Columbia with over 25 acres of greenhouse and field heirloom produce. GBE committed to the family name, a quality organic product and healthy heirloom produce. For more information, please visit www.gbeorganic.com.

 

 

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