Local Food Movement Breaks Up Ontario Grocery Franchises

sobeys grocery photo

Sobeys store, Oshawa Ontario. Image credit:Consolidated Energy Systems

Big grocery chain owners customarily mandate store managers order stock from national suppliers, under contract to the franchise owner. Customers keep asking for local produce and meats. Corporate keeps saying "no." Because the customer is always right, as reported by CBC News, in Buy-local push prompts Ontario grocers to go independent, grocers are letting go of the franchise. For Ontario residents, at least, the stuff along the outside wall of the store - produce, meat, dairy - is increasingly "100-mile sourced." Three cheers for Ontario!Here's a few snippets from the CBC story - which is worth reading in it's entirety. The tipping point approaches.

Canadians are increasingly subscribing to the "buy local" and "100 mile diet" philosophies due to concerns over imported food, Kropf adds. "The pressure was always mounting — the more recalls, the more bad press from China or wherever the product was coming from. I know that in our case, our private label pickles are made in Indonesia. I couldn't believe that."

As a franchisee for a large grocery chain, Kropf says, corporate policies stipulating that he only buy federally inspected meat prevented him from stocking local products. Most federally inspected meat in Canada comes from large corporations such as Maple Leaf, Cargill and Tyson. ...Sobeys did permit franchisees to buy local fruit and vegetables, but items that don't grow in Canada or were out-of-season came in big boxes from a centralized distribution point. He says co-op members can now control the quality of their produce, and the group has hired a buyer to hand-pick fresh fruit and vegetables at the food terminal in Toronto.

More eat local posts.
Earthtalk: Why Eat Locally?
Wal-Mart Now US' Largest Buyer Of Locally Grown Produce
Is that Farmer Really Selling Local Food?

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