A total of 61 Ontario grocery retailers are being recognized for their promotion of local food.
By Andrew Joseph, Farms.com; Image via Foodland Ontario
The Government of Ontario is recognizing 61 grocery stores across the province for their innovative promotion of fresh Ontario food as part of the 2022 Foodland Ontario Retailer Awards program.
Ontario has one of the most diverse agri-food systems in Canada, producing more than 200 commodities, such as asparagus, berries, tender fruit, apples, greenhouse tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers. Last year, the Ontario food retail sector contributed $6.96 billion to the province’s GDP and employed more than 186,000 people.
“Congratulations to this year’s winners and to everyone who sent in a submission. These efforts in showcasing products grown here in Ontario are a staple in driving awareness of our agri-food sector,” stated Lisa Thompson, the Minister of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). “Buying Ontario grown and produced products directly supports our farmers, processors and other businesses across our food supply chain and helps create jobs, strengthen communities and our provincial economy.”
For over 35 years, the Foodland Ontario Retailer Awards have celebrated the dedication and creativity expressed by grocery stores across the province for their unique and innovative displays that promote locally grown food.
Between June and July of 2023, awards will be presented to winning grocery stores to honour the efforts of staff and produce managers to promote all the good things that grow in Ontario.
“Promoting Ontario food is critical to supporting our farm families, processors and entire agri-food value chain,” explained Matthew Rae, MPP for Perth-Wellington. “The Foodland Ontario Retailer Awards celebrate the best of the best in the promotion of these products, and the Mount Forest location has provided top tier delivery of this initiative when it comes to showcasing Ontario grown products and encouraging consumer awareness.”
As part of this annual program, retailers can enter their displays that promote locally grown and in-season fruits and vegetables into four categories. The annual Foodland Ontario Retailer Awards are the produce industry’s premier competition for excellence in retail display and promotion in support of local Ontario foods.
“We know our customers love local. When we/our team puts the effort into building displays featuring local products it makes our customers happy in their purchase knowing they are supporting local farmers,” said Luigi and Kim Catalano, owners of Foodland – Mount Forest. “We put the effort into creating these displays because we want to support our community and showcase the amazing products our local farms grow. In turn, it builds a sense of contribution among our staff. Along with our entire staff at the Mount Forest Foodland, we would like to thank and congratulate our outstanding produce team.”
For more information and to see what is in season and when, visit www.ontario.ca/foodland/foodland-ontario