Jamie Oliver Celebrates Sobeys' Commitment to Local Producers in Atlantic Canada

Chef experiences some of region's best local products

STELLARTON, NS, Oct. 27, 2015 /CNW/ - Reinforcing its long established commitment to Atlantic Canada growers and producers, Sobeys Inc. today showcased its support of the buy local movement at an event in Merigomish, Nova Scotia. The Cameron's Farm event was attended by local residents and featured food displays from nine local vendors and a cooking demonstration by special guest Jamie Oliver.

"We're honoured to have the opportunity to host Jamie Oliver in our home province of Nova Scotia and showcase the variety and quality of food that comes from across Atlantic Canada," said Peter Doucette, General Manager, Sobeys Atlantic. "For more than 108 years, Sobeys has focused on building strong local relationships and offering thousands of locally-sourced products. As part of our mission to help Canadians eat better, we'll continue to choose to buy local where possible to bring the best food to our customers." 

Sobeys buys more local products than any other grocery retailer in Atlantic Canada. In fact, in 2014, Sobeys Atlantic purchased over $45 million in produce from more than 200 growers in Atlantic Canada. That same year, Sobeys became the only grocery retailer in Canada to hire a business development manager for local procurement, Steve Read. In this specialized role, Read has identified more than 50 new local suppliers who are now supplying or in the process of signing on to supply Sobeys.

"When Sobeys first approached us to do business, we jumped at the opportunity to get our Haskap berry products into the hands (and mouths!) of the consumer," remarked Liam Tayler, Commercial Director at haskapa, grower and processor of Haskap berries in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia.

"Sobeys has been an ideal partner for us with their focus on local, quality products and flexibility for growing brands such as ours. In November 2014 we started in 10 stores and thanks to their support, haskapa is now available in all of the Sobeys stores across Atlantic Canada with plans to expand into Foodland stores in the near future."

Sobeys Atlantic's local suppliers range in size and value from $2,000 to $6 million in annual sales. While some supply all 84 Sobeys stores in Atlantic Canada, Sobeys has made it easier for smaller suppliers to deliver direct-to-store, expanding access to local products for customers.

"This is my first time visiting Nova Scotia, and having the opportunity to meet some of the people who produce amazing, delicious and fresh food for Canadians has made this trip extra special," said Jamie Oliver. "Part of eating better, is eating local, seasonal food. It's fresher and tastes better. Seeing Sobeys' commitment to maintaining its long-standing tradition of working with local farmers first-hand reinforces how proud I am to partner with them."

The event featured displays from the following vendors, who showcased their locally-grown or produced products.

  • Pure Infused Maple Syrup: locally-produced in Aylesford, Nova Scotia
  • haskapa Haskap Berry Products: grower and processor of Haskap berries based in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia. Sobeys is the exclusive grocery retailer of haskapa juice, dried berries and condiments
  • Knoydart Farms: located in Merigomish, Nova Scotia, Knoydart is one of only two certified organic farms east of Quebec and the only producer of organic cheese in the province. Knoydart's blueberry cheese was created exclusively for Sobeys
  • Valley Flaxflour Ltd: the only mill in Atlantic Canada producing premium quality, gluten-free flours and wheat-free mixes; based in Middleton, Nova Scotia
  • PepperHead: purveyor of fine hot pepper chutneys, jellies, syrups and sauces based in Truro, Nova Scotia
  • Verger Belliveau's Orchard: one of Atlantic Canada's premier growers and suppliers of apples, the orchard is nestled among the scenic rolling hills of Pre-d'en-Haut, New Brunswick. Verger Belliveau has supplied Sobeys for more than 50 years
  • Red Soil Organics: grower, packer and shipper of high-quality organic produce located in Brookfield, Prince Edward Island
  • AC Covert: provider of sustainably-sourced haddock and scallops based in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
  • Just Us! Coffee Roasters Co-op: launched in 1995 as Canada's first Fair Trade Roaster working with producer groups all over the world to sell Fair Trade, Organic Coffee, Tea, Sugar and Chocolate. Based in Wolfville, Nova Scotia

During his cooking demonstration, Jamie prepared a shoulder of pork served with Haskap & Apple sauce made with haskapa dried berries and apples from Verger Belliveau's Orchard.  This was served with Smashed Potatoes made from potatoes grown in Prince Edward Island. He also baked his Protein Loaf recipe from his new book Everyday Super Food and incorporated flax flour from Valley Flaxflour Ltd.

About Sobeys Inc.
Proudly Canadian, with headquarters in Stellarton, Nova Scotia, Sobeys has been serving the food shopping needs of Canadians for 108 years. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Empire Company Limited (TSX:EMP.A), Sobeys owns or franchises approximately 1,500 stores in all 10 provinces under retail banners that include Sobeys, Safeway, IGA, Foodland, FreshCo, Thrifty Foods, and Lawton's Drug Stores as well as more than 350 retail fuel locations. Sobeys and its franchise affiliates employ more than 125,000 people. The company's purpose is to help Canadians Eat Better, Feel Better and Do Better.
More information on Sobeys Inc. can be found at www.sobeyscorporate.com.

About Jamie Oliver
Jamie Oliver is a phenomenon in the world of food. Most famous for his Emmy-Award winning television series, Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution on CBC, Jamie has become a campaigner for better school food and food education. The Jamie Oliver Food Foundation has created an annual global day of action – Food Revolution Day www.foodrevolutionday.com – inspiring people all over the world to stand up for real food, and Canada has been one of the most active countries for the past two years. His television programs are broadcast on Food Network Canada and the accompanying bestselling cookbooks are published by HarperCollins Canada. Jamie lives in London and Essex with his wife, Jools, and their children, Poppy, Daisy, Petal and Buddy.

SOURCE Sobeys Inc.

For further information: Lauren Grant, High Road for Sobeys Inc., Lauren.Grant@highroad.com, 416-644-2237 (office); 416-627-9416 (mobile); Shauna Selig, Sobeys Inc., Shauna.Selig@sobeys.com, 902-752-8371 x. 8118 (office); 902-759-0671 (mobile)


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