Skip to main content

Federated uses labels to help shoppers buy local

Launches campaign using scoring system to identify local products

Federated Co-operatives is trumpeting local food at its stores in Western Canada with a new campaign and local food partner.

Federated is working with Localize, an Edmonton company that highlights local and regional products on store shelves. With Localize’s help, Co-op has launched the “At Home” campaign–a program meant to help consumers identify local products.

READ: Going local, moving beyond produce

Localize rates a product’s “localness.” Its on-shelf labels carry scores out of 10 for each product, using weighted ratings that emphasize location of production and ownership, source of ingredients and local sustainability. Suppliers must provide all that information to Localize, and only products with scores of at least seven out of 10 make the labelling grade.

Shoppers can scan a QR code found on Localize's on-shelf labels that take them to a website where they can learn more about the story behind the product and where it was made, grown or manufactured.

One product for example, Sunny Boy buttermilk pancake mix, scored 9.9 out of 10 for the Co-op store in Edmonton. Sunny Boy Foods is based in Edmonton and works with farmers near Camrose, Alta., using only local grains to mill whole wheat flour in their products.

Federated Co-op, which has 210 stores across Western Canada, launched the At Home program this week in Alberta and British Columbia. It plans to introduce the program to Co-op stores in Saskatchewan and Manitoba starting in mid-September.

“Co-op has a long tradition of sourcing local products and supporting local farmers, ranchers, and producers who grow, raise and produce our food,” Ron Welke, associate vice-president of food at Federated Co-operatives, said in a statement.

READ: A common market for local food in the U.S.

Localize bills itself as providing shoppers with "the story of your food" was founded in Alberta three years ago. Since then it has started working with several grocery chains, including Sobeys and Calgary Co-op.

“We built Localize to help shoppers, grocers and food producers better understand the stories behind where their local food products have come from, presenting credible information on grocery shelves and beyond,” said Meghan Dear, Localize founder and CEO.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds