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Loblaw works with producers to prioritize locally-raised pork

Agreement with Les Éleveurs de porcs du Québec means more in-store promotion

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Loblaw has reached an agreement with Quebec pork producers to promote locally raised and transformed pork in its Provigo, Maxi and Loblaws stores in the province.

Almost 100% of the pork sold in Provigo, Maxi and Loblaw stores in Quebec already hails from the province. But Quebecers may not be aware of that.

“We’re going to identify pork as a Quebec product in an ongoing fashion,” says Charles Valois, vice-president of promotion, for Provigo and Loblaws Quebec.

The engagement with Les Éleveurs de porcs du Québec, the 3,400-member pork producers group, “confirms the importance of supporting Quebec pork producers,” Valois says. The partnership is for the long-term, he says.

He notes the $2 billion industry is strong in Quebec. In fact, about 70% of Quebec’s pork production is exported to more than 125 countries, representing 8% of world pork trade.

READ: Pork producer promises more crate-free pigs

The engagement with the pork producers makes it official that pork from Quebec is a priority in the company’s banners in Quebec, says Glenn Acton, vice-president of promotion of Maxi.  He says “it aligns with our engagements with Aliments du Quebec (Foods of Quebec),” the province’s buy local program.

As part of the agreement, the Aliments du Quebec logo is being placed on all pork sold in Loblaw banners in the province. For a short period, the Le porc du Québec logo of the pork producers was placed on pork products instead.

The pork producers toured five Provigo Le Marché stores throughout the province in late September and early October, conducting tastings of pork cutlets and handing out recipe booklets.  During the tour, 50 clients in each store also received a book of pork recipes.

READ: Are Canadians too hung up on protein?

In addition, pork is being advertised in weekly circulars with the Le porc du Québec logo “and every time we do that we see increases in incremental sales,” Valois says.

Loblaw is also working with the pork producers and the Union des producteurs agricoles, the Quebec farmers’ union, on themes for the circular, in which a selection of cuts would be sold depending on the season.

Valois says Quebec pork meets or surpasses Loblaw norms in terms of price, quality and cleanliness. Only in some cases does the grocer have to go elsewhere to ensure supply for the province. “When there’s a spike in demand, due to a promotion, we turn to other supply sources elsewhere in Canada and the U.S.”

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