The influence of the “Local Eating movement” on big business

You’ve probably noticed the same advertisements I have from Loblaws (and sister companies). Loblaw corporation (part of Westons ) has begun to get the word out that they support local Canadian farmers. Part of me would like to think that the groundswell around local and sustainable eating has encouraged them to buy more local produce. The cynical part of me would reference The Corporation .

Frankly, I think Loblaws, and most chain grocery stores carry a reasonable amount of seasonal, local produce – but they also carry a lot of non-local produce during seasons when it is not necessary (US and Chilean apples in the autumn?). The press release I mentioned above states that:

Loblaw purchased $750-million of Canadian produce in 2007 -
approximately 25 per cent of their total produce selection.

I guess the Loblaw group should be commended for typically moving in the right direction. The PC organic line is quite extensive. They were also quite quick with the re-usable shopping bags. They even have a more environmentally friendly concept store in Scarborough (link ). Call it good business, listening to the public opinion or sincere social responsibility, these are all good steps.

The big question for me is – do I add them here as a "local supplier"? Even though we don’t have a strict rule on the percentage of local food that must be supplied, at 25% I’m going to wait.

Keep eating local!

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joshJennifer SmithPauline Recent comment authors
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Pauline
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Pauline

I *rarely* see local – that is, Ontario or even Canadian – fruit and veggies at my local (North York) Loblaws or Dominion.

Jennifer Smith
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I know I’m pretty late commenting on this, but I did a walk-through of my local Loblaw’s Superstore here in Milton recently to see just what percent of their produce was ‘local’ and thought you might be interested in what I found. I counted the total number of produce varieties (not counting obviously tropical fruits), and of those, only 14.6% were from Ontario. Mind you, this was in December, but even for items like apples, onions and potatoes, less than a fifth were local. By comparison I did the same thing at a small local independent grocery store (La Rose),… Read more »