We're thrilled to announce the initiation of the Localize program with Co-op. This means that shoppers will be able to easily connect with the producers and stories behind local and regional foods as they do they're day-to-day shopping in Co-op stores across Western Canada.
Beginning this fall, Co-op's produced, grown and raised at home labels will highlight a Localize Score - which has become a hallmark of our brand and our business - and is a tool shoppers can use to find out how local a product is. The Localize score reflects a combination of values around the idea of local. It includes where a product was produced, where its brand ownership is, where its ingredients have come from, and whether it has credible certifications related to sustainability.
Every day at Localize we get to dive into entrepreneurial stories about the people who are making, raising and growing the food that we find in grocery stores. As an organization, we works side by side with food producers to learn how food is produced, why a business was started, who the faces and personalities are behind it, and what’s exciting about their day to day jobs.
"We have found that one of the greatest merits of working with these local businesses – these businesses who are a stone’s throw away from us -, is that they can tell us a lot more about their products.
They can tell us the where, they can explain the why, and they can give us a narrative that we remember as we go about our shopping. This groundswell of demand and interest in local food is so closely tied to these other merits of having a connection and really understanding more than the geography of where a product came from."
- Meghan Dear, Founder and Ceo, Localize
For a local business to thrive, it needs customers. Finding grocery partners who are committed to reinvesting in their local community is such an important foundation to a producer’s success. It’s an enormous asset to a local food company to be able to work with a retailer who is willing to put a local product onto their store shelves. We are extremely excited by Federated Co-operatives Ltd.'s commitment to bring more local products into their system through their Sell to Us program. These are exactly the channels that entrepreneurial and good-food businesses need in order to thrive and grow their businesses.
Localized Producer's met with shoppers at Millwood Town Centre Co-op in Edmonton, AB. They shared the story behind their products, and brought along some delicious samples.
Currently there are over 1600 Localized products across the Co-op system, and as we continue to work with individual Co-ops to identify and highlight these products, we expect to exceed 2500 products. We are looking forward to our partnership with Co-op and to the many new food and food business stories that we’ll get to learn about as we expand this local food program.