L’ORIGNAL, Ontario – The Eastern Ontario Agri-Food Network (EOAN) and the Cornwall and Area Chamber of Commerce have joined their efforts in promoting the Shop Local campaign covering Prescott-Russell, Stormont Dundas & Glengarry, Cornwall, and the Ontario portion of Akwesasne.
The EOAN focuses on the agri-food sector in Eastern Ontario while the focus of the Cornwall and Area Chamber of Commerce is to create a fertile entrepreneurial ecosystem. In October 2020, the National Post reported on the survey of Canadians, that 25 per cent of folks actively seek out local food while grocery shopping and almost 80 percent are willing to pay more for locally produced food. At the same time, the Western Producer suggested that
locally produced foods could make a much bigger impact in Canada’s local urban markets if they were easy to find and buy.
Both organizations have noticed how the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the challenges their members are facing on an ongoing basis to promote their local products to consumers. Small to mid-sized businesses and producers are constantly confronting big players in the industry.
Therefore, the EOAN has decided to act upon this challenge on behalf of its members and has developed a Local Food Discovery Booklet. Shortly after the development stage, the Cornwall Chamber of Commerce joined the program as a community partner.
The booklet consists of more than $240 of special offers and discounts from 20 participating farmers and food vendors. Each vendor has 12 opportunities to check / stamp / initial a deal so that customers may visit them several times.
“This program is an opportunity to promote and share the local agri-food enterprises in Eastern Ontario as well as to help restart our local economy. It is undeniable to say the last several months have been very difficult for everyone, especially for businesses impacted by the COVID pandemic.” said Tom Manley, Executive Director of the Eastern Ontario Agri-Food Network.
“Our Shop Local campaign aims to help people explore what an incredible array of foods, products and services we have in our local area.The collaboration with EOAN will help local shoppers discover what our agri-food producers have to offer” explained Greg Pietersma, Executive Director of the Cornwall and Area Chamber of Commerce.