MISSISAUGA, Ont. — Chartwells Canada launched its new Buy Local program last week, which supports local farmers and vendors and connects students to the communities their food comes from.
The program enables Chartwells’ chefs to locally source their ingredients by selecting vendors and farmers in their immediate community to become approved vendors through an online onboarding process. If the vendors meet Chartwells’ food-safety standards, they can immediately begin sending their produce to Chartwells schools and campuses.
“We recognize that the campuses and schools we serve are not only important academic institutions, but also key economic and cultural drivers in their communities,” says Eli Browne, director of Sustainability and Culinary Innovation at Chartwells Canada. “Our Buy Local program is our solution to sourcing local food that contributes to the overall vitality of the communities in which we operate. The program also allows us to respond to the growing demand by our students and partner schools for more locally sourced ingredients and menu concepts.”
The Buy Local program stems from the Food with Purpose pillar of Chartwells’ new vision, ‘Thinking Ahead Giving Back,’ which aims to have the company become a more collaborative thought partner to its schools and campuses.
“For consumers, local food is at the heart of Ontario’s agri-food industry,” says Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “Opening the door and making it easier for the broader public sector to procure locally made food is part of our government’s plan to strengthen Ontario’s local food economy.
Buy Local is supported by Foodland Ontario — the consumer promotion program of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs — and is the first program to be supported, without being funded, by Greenbelt Fund, which believes that access to the foodservice and education sectors will be a valuable marketing opportunity for Ontario farmers, processors and vendors.