As part of its ongoing commitment to local food producers, Metro has launched a new development program for regional products in Quebec. The program will see approximately 100 new grocery products from 18 suppliers in the Eastern Townships being sold at seven Metro and Super C stores in the province’s Estrie region. The new supplier partners include chocolate maker Chocolats Vanden Eynden; Ducs de Montrichard, which specializes in canned terrines and rillettes; and honey maker Miel Pur Délice 2008. READ: Metro’s Irresistibles chicken products now 100% from Quebec “These people are extremely passionate and make products of wonderful quality, and we want to promote them as much as possible,” said Marie-Claude Bacon, senior director of corporate affairs and corporate responsibility for Metro. “These producers are like magicians. It’s wonderful what they do.” http://youtu.be/UG9qZdVU2TA Bacon said that the new program stems from Metro’s Local Purchasing Policy, first introduced approximately 18 months ago. That program is intended to make Metro stores a leading destination for local products through a three-pronged approach: Working with suppliers in close proximity to its stores; working with regional food boards such as Foodland Ontario, and a commitment to seeking out innovative products. The company has introduced approximately 400 new regional products from roughly 60 suppliers since the program’s inception. READ: Metro Quebec sets out local food policy Metro buyers discovered the company’s newest suppliers during regional tours of the Eastern Townships developed in association with Créateurs de saveurs Cantons-de-l’Est, a food-focused division of the Eastern Townships tourism marketing board, and Conseil de l’industrie bioalimentaire de l’Estrie (CIBLE), which promotes bio-food growth in the region. On the tour, Metro buyers discussed the products as well as key details such as labeling, prices and merchandising. “It was not just about finding the products and putting them on the shelves, it was all the steps around it that needed to be questioned and simplified as much as possible,” said Bacon. Metro has also introduced a series of online videos promoting three local suppliers and the work they do to create their products. The videos appear on YouTube, as well as the Metro website and those of its partner organizations. Metro is also promoting the videos on its Facebook page and via a newsletter sent to people in its Metro & Moi loyalty program. “Our objective is to drive engagement between our customers and our local suppliers, and it’s also in line with our to be as authentic as possible,” said Bacon.