Loblaw Partners With Cattle Feeders To Offer Ontario Beef
Loblaw Companies and the Ontario Cattle Feeders’ Association have teamed up to boost sales of Ontario Corn Fed Beef across the province.
Several Loblaw executives and members of the OCFA were on hand to officially introduce the new partnership during an event on May 25, at Tremblett’s value-mart in Toronto.
The deal involves more than 150 Zehrs Markets, valu-mart, Your Independent Grocer and Bloor Street Market grocery stores in Ontario.
“While we have always supported Canadian beef, this new partnership means the vast majority of beef available in these 150 stores will be produced by farmers from Ontario,” said Rodney Koning, vice-president of Meat and Seafood Procurement for Loblaw.
“Consumers will now be able to easily identify and purchase Ontario beef.”
Koning said the Ontario Corn Fed Beef program offers several benefits for both the retailer and consumers.
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Koning noted that the partnership with the Ontario Cattle Feeders’ Association means that an increase from 240 Ontario beef farmers to about 500 farmers will be supplying Ontario Corn Fed Beef, the OCFA’s signature brand, to the 150 stores.
In announcing the deal, Loblaw officials cited government research that indicates 63 per cent of consumers said support for Ontario farmers was reason for buying Ontario produced or processed foods.
With about 3,000 head of cattle needed to supply the Loblaw stores, OCFA president Dale Pallister said the partnership with the retailer is a tremendous show of support for Ontario farmers.
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Pallister said increasing the amount of Ontario beef in retail markets has been the goal of the Corn Fed Beef program since its inception more than ten years ago.
With 500 beef producers marketing their cattle that qualify for the program, he said the new partnership with Loblaw is a big step toward making the Ontario beef industry more viable.
Ontario Agriculture Minister Carol Mitchell, who was also at the event, said having Ontario Corn Fed Beef in local grocery stores is a great opportunity to strengthen the beef industry.
Mitchell noted the deal means more than just providing shelf space for a local product.
“(It’s) an increased demand for Ontario’s beef, and a new market and an opportunity for our farmers,” she said.
Ontario is recognized as Canada’s second largest beef producing province, supporting more than 13,000 jobs and contributing about $4 billion to the provincial economy.