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Working with grocers

Working with grocersHealth Canada’s  Office of Nutrition Policy  and Promotion  has just released a new report – Working with Grocers to Support Healthy Eating. This  report outlines trends influencing the food retail environment and consumer purchasing behaviour. It summarizes promising interventions from the literature and profiles experiences from Canadian programs to help us understand how the food retail environment could support healthy eating. The report also provides suggestions for program development, implementation, and evaluation.

Key findings that support Farm to Cafeteria efforts?

  • In this report the discussion about healthy eating had not limited to the consumption of nutritious foods –   local,  fresh, minimally packaged, sustainably aspects are included.
  • While traditional grocery stores are  getting larger, and independent grocers are joining banner groups to take advantage of economies of scale, smaller niche supermarkets offering specialized services or unique foods are strengthening their market share. Moreover a number of non traditional markets gave emerged including cooperative food stores and local food markets.
  • There has been significant growth of direct sales of local foods to consumers through community-supported agriculture, farm-stands, farmers’ markets, and other alternative outlets.
  • The increasing complexity of global food pathways has led to efforts to design and implement food traceability initiatives.
  • Consumers increasingly want to know where their food comes from and how it was grown, raised, or produced. This need for greater connection and accountability with food and food practices is expected to increase local food demand and direct farm to consumer sales.
  • Consumers want both convenience and quality. Many consumers are interested in authenticity and sustainability of the food supply. This has led to changes in how people think about food and how they eat it. Direct grower-to-consumer purchasing and the Slow Food movement are examples of this trend, as are terms such as food miles, carbon footprints, and locavore. These trends are expected to continue.
  • Many consumers are interested in authenticity and sustainability of the food supply. This has led to changes in how people think about food and how they eat it. Direct grower-to-consumer purchasing and the Slow Food movement are examples of this trend, as are terms such as food miles, carbon footprints, and locavore. These trends are expected to continue.
  • Grocers are keen to support healthy eating initiatives.  Specifically traditional and non traditional grocers have said they are keen to develop industry wide campaigns, increase the amount and visibility of local nutritious foods and to develop school retail partnerships.

Download a the full report here  WorkingWithGrocers_EN-1

 

About the author

Joanne Bays is the National Manager of Farm to Cafeteria Canada. She is a population health nutritionist and a food policy consultant with a special interest in food localism and its impact on personal, community, school, and environmental health.

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