Toronto, ON, June 21, 2018 – It’s more important than ever to Ontarians to have locally sourced options on the shelf at their local grocery store. According to a study by the Ontario government, almost 80 per cent of primary shoppers incorporate locally grown food into at least one meal per week1, which is why grocery retailer, Metro Ontario Inc. is announcing the fourth launch of its Local Purchasing Policy into the Escarpment region today.
Alongside its key partner, Foodland Ontario, Metro is committed to finding and supporting the crown jewels of the food industry in communities across Ontario – local suppliers who are feeding Ontarians in new, exciting and different ways. As a result, Metro has successfully introduced more than 400 local products into its stores since 2017.
The Escarpment launch includes 13 Metro and 17 Food Basics stores between Burlington and St. Catharines, stretching north to Guelph and west to Stratford, with Ontario agri-food products offered across major product categories: grocery, deli, bakery, meat and produce. Customers in this region can now find 187 innovative products from 28 different suppliers, including locally produced raw honey, popcorn, organic kefir, pickles, quinoa and more.
“We’re keeping our promise to our customers to support grassroots, Ontario-based suppliers by continuing to stock new, locally sourced products,” says Joe Fusco, senior vice president, Metro Ontario Inc. “The policy’s next phase will cover northern Ontario, followed by Toronto, so by the end of 2019, our customers around the province will see unique, locally produced items on Metro’s shelves.”
This rollout marks the fourth phase of the Local Purchasing Policy in Ontario, which kicked off in Ottawa in March 2017, followed shortly after by southwestern Ontario in June 2017 and the Seaway/St. Lawrence River area in November 2017.
Ontario suppliers now featured in store include: Cherry Lane (Vineland); Moss Berry Farm (Stratford); Humble Bee (Hamilton); Organic Meadow (Guelph); Upper Canada Cheese Company (Jordan Station); Pristine Gourmet (Waterford); and many more. These vendors are now reaching a wider market with their products by participating in Metro’s Local Purchasing Policy.
“This initiative closes the gap between Ontarian consumers and locally sourced products,” says Jamie Draves, president, Quinta Local Superfoods, based in Rockwood. “Supporting local businesses means supporting your community, decreasing your carbon footprint and improving your local economy; Metro and Ontario should be proud of the Local Purchasing Policy!”
“This is a tremendous opportunity to reach a new market and develop volume for home-grown popcorn farmers,” says Becky Smollett, president, From Farm to Table Canada Inc., based in Cambridge. “All of our materials, from boxes and bags, to ingredients, are sourced from local suppliers, so Metro’s Local Purchasing Policy doesn’t just benefit our company, it extends to the small companies we work with.”
Local Purchasing Program
METRO’s Local Purchasing Policy aims to optimize the accessibility and promotion of local products. A part of Metro's overall corporate responsibility approach, the policy is based on three guiding principles and aims to make Metro a unique showcase for regional products; A key partner of Foodland Ontario and sectoral agri-food associations that promote Ontario products; a key ally of Ontario innovative suppliers. The local purchasing policy can be consulted on metro.ca. The Metro 2016 Corporate Responsibility Report is also available online at metro.ca/responsibility
With annual sales of approximately $16 billion, METRO INC. is a leader in food and pharmaceutical distribution in Québec, Ontario and Eastern Canada, where it operates or is the franchisor of a network of more than 600 food stores under several banners, including Metro, Metro Plus, Super C and Food Basics, as well as close to 700 drugstores primarily under the Jean Coutu, Brunet, Metro Pharmacy and Drug Basics banners, providing employment to 85,000 people.
1 Adapted from OMAFRA. (2017). Ontario’s Local Food Report 2016/2017 Edition Tastes of Home. Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Retrieved from http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/about/local_food_rpt17.htm.
For more information, visit www.metro.ca.
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