Metro Ontario has introduced organic chicken, pork and lamb from Ontario suppliers in its 147 Metro and Food Basics stores in the province.
Field Gate Organics is supplying pork to Metro Ontario, while chicken is being sourced fromYorkshire Valley Farms and lamb from Ontario Veal. The organic fare appears at discounted prices in a two-thirds page ad in this week’s Metro flyer, along with the Foodland Ontario Organic logo.
“We have had great success with organic produce but so far have not sold organic meat,” said André Gagné, vice-president of fresh merchandising at Metro Ontario. “Based on our very successful antibiotic-free chicken, beef and pork programs, we decided the time was right to go to the next level.”
Gagné noted that Metro customers have expressed a desire for local, humane, and environmentally responsible products and “organic meat addresses all of these concerns.”
The prices for the organic meat are somewhat higher than conventional meat. For example, Gagné said prices on organic pork and chicken are roughly 30% higher.
This week, the organic fare is on sale in the flyer. For example, Metro Ontario is selling fresh organic boneless pork loin centre cut chops at $8.99 a pound, a savings of $2 off the regular price.
Organics and Ontario-sourced product will also be promoted in upcoming flyers and mailers, Gagné said.
In addition to organic chicken pork and lamb, Metro is currently testing organic beef products, Gagné said. However, the supplier Metro is using does not exclusively source product from Ontario, so the Foodland Ontario Organic logo can not be used on the beef.
Metro also requires that the fresh meat suppliers it chooses must operate federally inspected plants.
The value of the Canadian organic food market has tripled since 2006 and that 58% of all Canadians now purchase some organic products weekly, Gagné said.
“We expect the demand for organics to increase even more in the future, especially if supply increases and price gaps are reduced.”
Metro said the sale of organic meat from Ontario is part of its corporate responsibility goal to source local Ontario foods as a way of strengthening communities in the province.
Gagné could not provide sales projections for the Ontario-sourced organic chicken, pork and lamb.