Local Food: The New Competitive Edge


It sure doesn't look like much from the outside, and although we have lived in the neighbourhood for over 20 years we had never set foot in Fiesta Farms, usually going to the local Loblaws instead. Then we learned that Fiesta Farms is the first big store in Ontario to sign on with Local Food Plus, (previously covered in TreeHugger as Local Flavour Plus), a non-profit that certifies food as "sustainable" which means it was produced in Ontario in a way that's gentle on the environment and strict on worker and animal rights. According to Catherine Porter in the Star, it's ethical food. "We're not looking at just where it comes from or just the production system, either. This is a broader package," said Local Food Plus vice-president Mike Schreiner. (see LFP's ten guiding principles here)

Fiesta Farms owner Joseph Virgona notes: "I'm surrounded by corporate chains. We had to do something totally different." While local strawberries once rotted on his shelves, this summer they were scooped up instantly, he said. "It's become a tidal wave."

So we visited, and it was fabulous. Six different kinds of Ontario apples (didn't know there were so many!), dozens of different vegetables, local and organic food and everything from Ontario clearly labelled. We just found a new place to shop. ::The Star

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