Friday, December 20, 2013

December 17, 2013 PROVINCE ANNOUNCES 'BUY MANITOBA' SALES ON THE RISE, SUPPORT LOCALLY PRODUCED PRODUCTS, PRODUCERS Manitoba’s economy is getting a boost from the Buy Manitoba campaign, as sales of products grown or processed in Manitoba are on the rise, Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Minister Ron Kostyshyn said today. From May 1, 2012, to April 30, 2013, sales of marked Buy Manitoba products in Safeway stores throughout the province grew 2.4 per cent over the previous year. Total product sales among participating Manitoba companies increased by approximately $1.5 million. “Manitobans want to buy food products that are grown or produced right here in our province,” said Minister Kostyshyn. “The local food industry thrives on entrepreneurs who aren’t afraid to compete with the world market. We are pleased to see local producers creating new food products, good jobs and new economic opportunities.” Preliminary data shows eight companies participating in the Buy Manitoba program have added 38 new jobs over the past year. There are now 81 Manitoba food producers and processors registered as participants in the program and participating companies have achieved a 5.4 per cent increase in the number of new products for a total of over 60 new Manitoba products listed in grocery and food service outlets in the province. Safeway, the program’s official retail launch partner, has placed Buy Manitoba signs and shelf markers throughout its 33 Manitoba stores. “Buy Manitoba is a highly visible symbol that celebrates the incredible local selection available at Safeway,” said John Graham, director, public affairs and government relations, Safeway. “Manitoba companies, both smaller vendors and nationally known, are directly benefiting from this added profile as customers are showing their support for local options. The Buy Manitoba program provides a valuable method of educating our customers on the availability of local product and ultimately strengthens Manitoba’s economy through the purchase of that product.” “I am very encouraged by the results we have achieved in running this program for the food industry,” said Dave Shambrock, executive director, Manitoba Food Processors Association. “Buy Manitoba promotes and supports a range of companies from small vendors that sell their artisanal products at farmers’ markets to large companies whose products are available at many retailers. For Manitoba’s artisanal food producers, the program provides ways to connect with more customers seeking unique quality foods.” Consumers are encouraged to look for the Buy Manitoba logo this holiday season while dining out. There are many food producers who have storefronts with dining areas featuring the freshest-possible product. “Much has changed since we first started selling homemade cheesecakes out of a small Winnipeg pizzeria to restaurants in the city,” said Darlene Landino, owner, Double D’s Cheesecake and Coffee House in St. Vital. “Now we have a large production facility and an18-seat coffee house, and it happened because our clients trusted the quality and freshness of our product and they wanted to support a local producer and fellow Manitoban.” Buy Manitoba will be expanding its retail presence and has designed new signage to be featured at specialty retailers throughout the province. The program will expand to smaller independent retailers, such as Bernstein’s Deli, Calderwood’s Country Store in Dominion City, Generation Green at The Forks, Downtown Family Foods and well-known Manitoba chains such as Vita Health and Food Fare. For more information on Buy Manitoba and the companies participating in the program, visit - 30 -

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