Celebrating Localize

Are you familiar with the Big Carrot’s Localize program? You have probably seen orange tags with a number lining some of our shelves.

Localize was introduced to the store last spring, and as we celebrate our first successful year with the program, we thought it would be a good idea to remind our customers of what the program is all about!

Simply put, it involves having labels on our shelves to indicate which products are truly local to where you live and shop.

In a recent survey*, it was confirmed that a majority of our customers value The Big Carrot’s efforts over the past 33 years to source local products.  From fiddleheads in the spring to honey crisp apples in the fall, we search first for nature’s finest in our own backyard. Because of our commitment to supporting local, we felt that it was a good fit for the store to be the first retailer in Ontario to roll out this program.

So what is Localize all about?

Here is a quick summary!

The goal of the program is to bring awareness to shoppers and take the effort out of hunting down local products. We recognize that our customers are often at the store with children, or have time constraints, and we want to make their shopping experience as easy and enjoyable as possible.

Localize exists to provide customers with the option to:

Get the freshest produce

Support local businesses

Create jobs in your community

Minimize the environmental impact of your food

How does it work?

The localize score is broken down into three major categories: ingredient origins, ownership location, and production location. Bonus points can be awarded to companies that incorporate extra sustainability measures into their business model.

Here is an example: a sustainable coffee company that sources beans from Costa Rica, roasts them in a facility off the DVP, and is owned by a Torontonian will have a very high score at The Big Carrot.

If that same business model existed, but was located further away from the Big Carrot, or was owned by someone in Quebec or British Columbia, that score would go down. Localize exists to connect customers to what is local to them.

Ontario’s farmlands are bountiful, its people are entrepreneurial, and its communities are strong. The Localize program reminds us of this when we see the orange tag on the shelf.


Alex Comrie, Registered Holistic Nutritionist (R.H.N.) Nutritional Consulting

www.realhealthworks.ca

*The customer survey was conducted on Oct/Nov 2015 in person at the Big Carrot and online via email invitation