MONTREAL, April 23, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Over 14,000 kilos of tasty greenhouse strawberries grown in Quebec without any pesticides or fungicides are making their debut at Metro. Following a pilot project that was carried out over the winter in two Les 5 Saisons grocery stores, where the winter La Frissonnante won customers over with its red and juicy flesh, Metro agreed to buy the spring production grown by les Serres René Fontaine, thus extending this exclusive offer to a wider range of customers.
La Frissonnante strawberries are grown in a research and development greenhouse located in Drummondville where various exclusive farming methods are tested. Thanks to a move to a new space in the greenhouse, eight times more strawberries were grown than during last fall's harvest. The surface area of that space will reach 1 hectare in March of 2015 and will produce 70 tonnes of strawberries annually.
"The commitment made by Metro allows us to develop our production and meet the needs of a great deal of customers who want to buy good local strawberries, even in springtime! We are delighted to be able to share our unique product with Metro customers", said Joël Lalancette, Production Manager for Les Serres René Fontaine.
"We are very excited at the idea of extending the offer of La Frissonnante strawberries this spring and of contributing to the economic growth of local farmers. This decision highlights the efforts made by Metro, particularly within the framework of our Local Purchasing Policy, as well as our concrete impact on the development of the local agri-food sector", commented Bernadette Hamel, Vice-President, National Procurement - Produce, for Metro.
This agreement is in keeping with the local purchasing policy that Metro announced last May, of which one of the three guiding principles is to make Metro the main ally of innovative suppliers. In so doing, Metro confirms its interest in Quebec suppliers who want and who are able to continuously develop their products or their production and who show growth potential with respect to distribution. Metro's local purchasing policy can be consulted on metro.ca. The 2013 Update on the progress of Metro's corporate responsibility initiatives is also available. Click here to view it.
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 in Quebec and Ontario over 65,000 people, whose mission is 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 les Serres René Fontaine
Les Serres René Fontaine inc. is a family business that has been operating in the horticultural sector for over 40 years, devoting itself exclusively to greenhouse farming since 1999. The company, which has reached a production surface area of two hectares, has been producing winter strawberries without any pesticides since 2012 and has become a leader in the soil-free farming of strawberries during the winter season. It has 30 employees.
Image with caption: "La Frissonnante greenhouse strawberries sold exclusively at Metro (CNW Group/METRO INC.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140423_C4794_PHOTO_EN_39556.jpg
SOURCE: METRO INC.
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