Metro has extended its local purchasing policy to the Chaudière-Appalaches region near Quebec City as part of its program to boost the presence of local suppliers in its stores.
As part of the second pilot project in Metro’s “buy local” program, 68 products from eight area suppliers are being sold at five Metro and two Super C stores.
The first phase of the pilot project, which was launched last November in the Lanaudière region near Montreal, is ongoing. A third pilot project will be launched soon in central Quebec.
Metro worked with organizations responsible for promoting the region’s food businesses to help identify the participating suppliers.
The chosen suppliers are selling sauces, jellies, jams, syrups, oils, flours and seasonings in area stores. Suppliers that make fresh fare such as meat, deli meat, cheeses and baked goods, will soon join the project.
The local products are being grouped together in stores. They’re being promoted with signage that identifies them as having the “colours and flavours” of the Chaudière-Appalaches region and via in-store tastings.
Marie-Claude Bacon, senior director of corporate affairs at Metro says the regional products are being sold at competitive prices. “We don’t want to discount those products. I don’t think it would serve the purpose.”
Bacon says it is too soon to provide results from the first pilot project in Lanaudière, but “we’re pleased with the results to date.”
The local purchasing policy, which was approved in May 2013, aims to make Metro a prime showcase for regional products.
In another local purchasing initiative, Metro has added Quebec greenhouse-grown organic cucumbers, red peppers and Japanese turnip to its stores under the Vôg Organic brand.
The vegetables come from Les Serres Lefort, which claims its cucumbers are the only organic and Quebec-grown cucumbers available year-round. The company is “making a mark” with its products, which include greenhouse lettuce under the Mirabel label, Bacon says.
This past Wednesday, Metro also announced over 14,000 kilos of greenhouse strawberries grown at La Frissonnante greenhouse.
"We are very excited at the idea of extending the offer of La Frissonnante strawberries this spring and of contributing to the economic growth of local farmers, " said Bernadette Hamel, vice-president of produce national procurement. "This decision highlights the efforts made by Metro, particularly within the framework of our Local Purchasing Policy, as well as our concrete impact on the development of the local agri-food sector."