06/29/2015 05:31 EDT | Updated 06/29/2016 05:59 EDT

B.C. strawberries are indeed locally-grown, says Kin's Farm Market

If you've picked up a pack of local strawberries lately and noticed that the fruits known for their red centres and sweetness just don't look or taste the same — don't panic. You haven't been duped into buying imported strawberries.

Many B.C. farmers have just switched to planting a variety that is typically grown in California, according to Kin's Farm Market.

The produce store chain says it has received complaints from customers, many of whom accused it of mislabeling local strawberries.

"I just wanted to have this opportunity to just put the locals' minds at ease so they know the strawberries that are labelled right now as local, they are actually local," spokeswoman Lia Fletcher told On The Coast.

Fletcher says most local strawberry farmers used to focus on varieties like Ranier, Clancy and Tillamut. They have a sheer texture, and tend to be juicier, sweeter, and red to the centre.

But many local farmers have switched to the Albion variety, likely because they are firmer and more resistant to diseases.

While some farmers still grow the old varieties, they are typically only available at limited locations, said Fletcher, who insisted that the Albion strawberries grown in B.C. are still superior to the ones imported from California.

"Even though it is the same variety, the freshness cannot be compared to the ones that you actually find here in B.C.," she said.