Profit for the Planet 2011: Stonyfield Canada Awards $25,000 to Eco-Friendly Projects

"Meet Your Farmer Bike Tours" Stands Out among Projects from across the Country

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http://smr.newswire.ca/en/stonyfield/stonyfield-profit-for-the-planet-2011

MONTREAL, June 6, 2011 /CNW Telbec/ - Stonyfield Canada is pleased to reveal the five projects that will receive Profit for the Planet grants from among the 83 projects submitted this year. Though it was tough to choose just one initiative, the organizers have awarded the grand prize - a $10,000 grant - to the "Meet Your Farmer Bike Tours", project run by the Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network (ACORN). Profit for the Planet is an initiative whereby Danone Inc. in Canada's organic yogurt brand donates a share of its profits to initiatives aimed at taking concrete action to preserve the environment and contribute to the health and well-being of Canadian communities.

Meet Your Farmer Bike Tours, the grand prize winner of this community challenge, takes an innovative approach to eco-tourism by offering one-day bike tours in which participants discover the world of organic farmers in the Maritimes. The ACORN team has ambitious plans for their initiative, which they would like to be implemented from coast to coast, so that Canadians all over the country will be able to tour organic farms by bike and view the food they enjoy on a daily basis in a new light. The Meet Your Farmer project stands out for its originality and the values it advocates, such as education, awareness and a sensible, back-to-basics approach to agriculture.

The jury members - Chantale Després, Director of sustainability at CN and chair of the fundraising committee for The Climate Project Canada; Matthew Holmes, Executive director of the Organic Trade Association; Dimitra Georgakis, consultant for Enzyme, an agency specializing in health and well-being; and Iannick Melançon, brand manager for Stonyfield Canada - were extremely impressed by the quality of the projects submitted to Profit for the Planet's organizers. Due to having associations with ACORN, Matthew Holmes abstained from evaluating the Meet Your Farmers project.

In addition to the ACORN project, the jury decided to award grants of $2,500 or $5,000 to the Jeunes Pousses organization, the Resource Efficient Agricultural Production group, the Yarrow Ecovillage Society and FoodCycles Community Soil and Food Projects Inc. for their respective projects. In all, Stonyfield Canada donated $25,000 to support these community initiatives. With some 83 applications received, the first Canadian edition of the Profit for the Planet competition was a resounding success. "We're delighted to see that there is a definite passion for making our planet a better place to live and that there are dynamic leaders out there who wish to take concrete action in this area," commented Stonyfield Canada brand manager Iannick Melançon.

The Five Projects Receiving Profit for the Planet Grants

Meet Your Farmer Bike Tours ($10,000 Grant)
This project enables Canadians to tour organic farms by bike, a new initiative that brings together eco-tourism with promotion of organic farming. Offering one-day bike tours that allow participants to discover the world of organic farms, the ACORN team hopes that their initiative will be implemented from coast to coast, so that Canadians all over the country can gain a renewed appreciation of farming and view the food that they enjoy on a daily basis in a new light. The $10,000 grant will make it possible to organize and implement bike tours in the summer of 2011.

Creating a Community Farm ($5,000 Grant)
The mission of the Yarrow Ecovillage Society (YES) is to establish a unified, environmentally friendly community. In order to supply food to the area's residents and foster local production, YES's members have begun efforts to develop an organic farm co-op. With the $5,000 awarded by Stonyfield Canada, YES will set up an efficient farmland irrigation system—a vital tool for the community's farmers.

The Cold Season Salad Project ($5,000 Grant)
Located right in the heart of Toronto, FoodCycles is an organization whose goal is to establish an organic garden and market in order to supply locally produced organic food to area residents. In addition, the organization donates over 455 kg of food each year to low-income families and food banks in the vicinity. The $5,000 bursary will enable FoodCycles to upgrade its greenhouse facilities in order to increase production during winter, the time of year when families most often need the organization's support.

Un Trésor Dans Mon Jardin ("A Treasure in My Garden" $2,500 Grant)
The future of the planet lies in the hands of the next generation, and it's with this in mind that Jeunes Pousses has set up a project in Waterville. Elementary school and daycare children from throughout the community will develop better eating habits and a more eco-friendly attitude to food by helping to cultivate a vegetable garden in different seasons.

Native Perennial Grasses: New Crops for Organic Farming in the Northeast ($2,500)
Resource Efficient Agricultural Production (REAP) Canada is currently developing new grass varieties adapted to the climate that can be used both to feed animals and heat greenhouses. These adapted varieties are easier to grow organically, which facilitates the work of organic farmers and those in the process of becoming organic. This innovative idea brings us one step closer to organic farming for everyone.

Source: Iannick Melançon, Brand Manager, Stonyfield Canada

About Stonyfield
Stonyfield Farm is the world's leading organic yogurt company. Founded on the principle that healthy food can only come from a healthy planet, the company has been part of Groupe Danone since 2001. In 2006, Stonyfield was launched in Canada with the establishment of its head office and a manufacturing plant in Boucherville, Quebec. All the yogurt it sells in Canada is made from organic milk produced by Canadian farms. Thanks to its standards with regard to organic production, it avoids the use of pesticides that might otherwise contaminate many acres of farmland, not to mention adjacent rivers and sources of drinking water.

/NOTE TO EDITORS: Media Assets accompanying this story are available as follows:

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCoMFeT26no

SOURCE Stonyfield

For further information:

about Stonyfield Canada, including its products and activities, visit its website at www.stonyfield.ca, its blog at blog.stonyfield.ca/en or its Facebook page at facebook.com/stonyfieldcanada and subscribe to its Twitter feed at @stonyfieldcan.

Mathieu Rouy 514.524.6464 x.292 mrouy@enzyme.ca

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