Northern Coalition, Cochrane and Haileybury $150,000
Food processors Ontario North East (ONE) Meats and Golden Beef are committed to bringing Ontario meat to First Nations and northern communities. ONE Meats and Golden Beef began using freezer storage for their inventory after establishing a partnership with Golden Beef Co-operative and Belle Valle Meats and Abattoir. Golden Beef worked with local colleges to launch value-added recipes and food festivals to spread awareness of Ontario meat. ONE Meats expanded their offerings to broader public sector institutions, through the purchase of a dual-sectioned trailer.
Cultivating Relationship from Local Producers to the Consumer, Simcoe $150,000
During this project, Norfolk County successfully procured local products for three different health care facilities in the area. A combi-oven purchased by partner VG Meats allowed for customized batches of their product for all three facilities. Cedarwood Village Hospital and Norfolk General purchased a Blixer, which enabled staff to puree local food on-site. Long-term care facility Norview Lodge purchased a mixer to use with Ontario produce. Norfolk and Norview introduced one new menu item with Ontario grown ingredients and replaced 11 menu items with Ontario products. By contracting a wholesaler specializing in buying local produce and by encouraging their Group Purchasing Organization to work with Ontario vendors, all three facilities were confident they could increase local buying by five percent.
Serving Ontario Food to Diverse Audiences, Toronto $102,989
During this project, Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) created an Ontario Food and Beverage Charter, and educate their staff, suppliers, and clients in buying local. As part of implementing an Ontario food procurement strategy, they connected MTCC staff with local farmers, committed to updating their menu more than once per year to reflect seasonal availability of local food, replaced imported products with local, and expanded their supplier base.
Connecting the Farmer to the Foodservice Business, Newmarket $54,847
The Holland Marsh Growers’ Association (HMGA) created a two-part plan to increase sales. They reached out to seven businesses/individuals to act as a broker for the Marsh growers to sell to the broader public sector but were unable to find one with the requisite capacity. The second half of their plan involved providing training and certification in on-farm food safety (CanadaGAP) for their member farmers. HMGA have successfully partnered with fellow Regional Food Grant partners, for example, helping procure a deal between the University of Guelph and a number of Marsh growers.
Growing a Regional Local Food Economy, Guelph $115,000
Guelph Wellington Local Food implemented a six-step plan including: (i) product substitution and vendor referrals for individual institutions; (ii) hosting events to dispel myths about buying local, and to connect institutional purchasers with suppliers; (iii) providing small grants to enable institutions to purchase equipment or promotional materials; (iv) recognizing local food champions with an awards program; (v) creating a Tool Kit and related series of six videos; and (vi) hosting a series of forums with farmers. This new plan empowered 13 BPS institutions to take preliminary steps towards increasing the amount of local food found on their menus.
Teaching the Importance of Ontario Food, Toronto $200,000
George Brown College Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts (CHCA) focused their efforts on boosting the amount of Ontario grown food purchased by the college. Beginning with an audit to determine the amount of locally grown food the College was currently purchasing, the CHCA implemented preference for Ontario-grown product in RFPs. They then completed a pilot to process and preserve fruit and vegetables on-site. For example, St. Michael’s Hospital is now using a newly created pizza sauce. A revised first-year curriculum at CHCA features Ontario produce, proteins, and dairy. At the time of the project, CHCA projected local food buy increases of five to ten percent in the first year to a minimum annual spend of $300,000 within five years.
Ontario Food All Year Round, Oakville $219,563
Dedicated to making a positive impact on the local food landscape, foodservice contract caterer Dana Hospitality LP committed to updating their menus to feature 80 percent Canadian and 65 percent Ontario food. A large company with $12 million in annual food purchases, Dana Hospitality LP created an internal team to promote its new strategy, including increased communication with broader public sector customers. The team also generated recipes and menus featuring local products that targeted the needs of their school and healthcare customers. Additionally, the team added local procurement specifications to their own RFPs and requested that their purchasing group, Food Service Exclusive Alliance Inc., require suppliers to identify Ontario food on their order guides.
Bringing Nutrition to Ontario Schools, Mississauga $100,000
Committed to bringing healthy, fresh, and local options to youth, the Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) purchased 40 Dairy Nutrition Centres, or milk vending machines, to provide milk, yogurt, and cheese to Ontario middle schools. Although met with challenges surrounding space and limited business opportunities in some locations, 12 DNCs were installed in Ontario middle schools during the project timeframe. DFO projected annual sales of $1.7 million once all units were in place.
Providing Fresh Ontario Food to Public Institutions, Toronto $133,460
Purchasing two refrigerated trucks during this project allowed 100km Foods Inc. to double their delivery schedule to four days a week and decrease their lead time from 72 to 24 hours—a requirement of BPS institutions. The trucks also allowed 100km Foods Inc. to increase orders from their North Farm Run where “BPS-ready” farms are concentrated—that is those farms that have the scale and food safety programs in place to serve the BPS. An automated ordering system to aid in the tracking of local purchases by BPS clients was also implemented. Overall sales of local product by 100km Foods Inc. grew 50 percent in 2011.
Building Supply and Demand for Ontario Cheese, Mississauga $230,000
Sysco set out with the ambitious goal to increase the demand for Ontario cheese and in turn assist Ontario cheesemakers’ efforts to deliver supply to a new customer base. On the demand side of the equation, Sysco worked with two institutional broader public sector partners to reimagine their menus and feature Ontario cheese. Just as cheesemakers had to change to meet health and safety, nutrition and packaging requirements, Sysco also adopted its procurement procedures to accommodate small-scale production and specialty products. The success of working with both the supplier and the customer far surpassed Sysco’s anticipated increase in Ontario cheese sales, with a 26.8 percent surge in sales representing more than a $4.5 million increase. Sysco has dispelled perceived cost barriers to local cheese resulting in previously Ontario cheese-free BPS institutions now purchasing local product.