July 14, 2014, MONTREAL /CNW Telbec/ - For the third year in a row, Metro and Équiterre are pleased to partner to facilitate the distribution of organic baskets in all four corners of Quebec. Nineteen stores in all – 18 Metro and 1 Super C – which is 5 more than in 2013 and 16 more than in 2012, will serve as drop-off points until next October for baskets of fresh vegetables that are certified organic or in the process of becoming so, prepared by agricultural producers who are members of the Équiterre Family Farmers Network. This year the partnership extends into eight Quebec regions: Montreal, Mauricie, Montérégie, Centre-du-Québec, Outaouais, Estrie, Quebec City and Lanaudière.
"By signing up for organic baskets, those who registered get a chance to meet their adoptive farmer who will treat them all summer long by offering them fresh vegetables. All items are free of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers, as all of our farms are certified organic or in the process of becoming so. It's a unique culinary experience to enjoy the great taste of vegetables that are grown here with tender loving care by their family farmer," explains Isabelle St-Germain, Deputy Director of Équiterre.
Customers who are interested must register with the producers in order to receive their basket each week of the season. They can pick them up in the parking lot of the participating Metro store in their area. Customers can register now and registration will continue as long as space remains. The content of the baskets depends on which items are currently in season.
"This association is in the spirit of the Local Purchasing Policy announced by Metro in May of 2013, one of the three guiding principles of which is to make Metro a prime showcase for regional products." said Marie-Claude Bacon, Senior Director, Corporate Affairs for Metro. "We are proud to work with Équiterre, an organization known for supporting ecological agriculture in Quebec, in carrying out this one of a kind project. This initiative, which began in 2012 with a pilot project involving three stores, has continued to grow and now includes 19 stores."
In 2012, Metro became the first and only food banner to register as a drop-off point for the project, which enables citizens to register with a local farm by pre-ordering vegetable baskets that are produced in an ecologically sound manner.
To find out more about the Équiterre Family Farmers Network, and to find the drop-off points in your area, go to paniersbio.org.
This agreement is in the spirit of the Local Purchasing Policy announced by Metro in May of 2013, one of the three guiding principles of which is to make Metro a prime showcase for regional products. Metro's Local Purchasing Policy can be viewed on Metro's website. Metro's 2014 Corporate Responsibility Report is also available online at metro.ca/responsibility.
With annual sales of over $11 billion, METRO INC. (TSX: MRU), founded in 1947, is the only major Canadian food distribution company to have its head office in Quebec. Along with its affiliates and franchisees, METRO INC. employs over 65,000 people in Quebec and Ontario, with a mission to satisfy their customers every day and earn their-long term loyalty. METRO INC. operates a network of almost 600 food stores under several banners including Metro, Metro Plus, Super C and Food Basics, as well as over 250 drugstores under the Brunet, The Pharmacy and Drug Basics banners.
About the Équiterre Family Farmers Network
The Équiterre Family Farmers Network includes more than 100 farms that feed 35,000 people annually. It sets itself apart through its human-scale farms, run by local youths who contribute to the vitality of the regions. They are passionate producers, committed to leaving behind a healthy environment to future generations, and who grow fruits and vegetables without any synthetic pesticides. The network, which has grown steadily since 1995, generates $4.2 million in spinoffs on its own per year for Quebec.
Image with caption: "Metro and Equiterre continue their organic basket distribution partnership. (CNW Group/METRO INC.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140714_C3125_PHOTO_EN_4254.jpg
SOURCE: METRO INC.
For further information: Metro Media Relations: Florence Petit-Gagnon, Communications Infrarouge, email@example.com, 514 849-4554; Équiterre Media Relations: Julie Tremblay, firstname.lastname@example.org, 514 522-2000 # 291