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Ron Healey, Associate Vice-President Ag and Home with Federated Co-operatives Limited, and Lyle Stewart, Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister, helped kick off Agriculture Month at an event at the Saskatoon Co-op Westview Food Store Sept. 29, 2016.

Meet a farmer at select Co-op Food Stores in October

By Dan Yates

September 30, 2016

This fall, Farm & Food Care Saskatchewan (FFC SK) and Co-op are providing shoppers with an opportunity to talk with Saskatchewan farmers.

On Saturday, Oct. 22, Co-op Food Stores across the province will feature local pulse farmers, new Co-op lentil products and information and resources for shoppers to learn more about how food is grown and ways to cook with it.

"This is a great chance for us to help make a direct connection between the people who consume our food and the people who grow it," said Adele Buettner, Project Manager for FFC SK. "Less than two per cent of the population of Canada now have direct links to the farm. There aren't as many opportunities for consumers to meet and talk with farmers or to get an understanding of how food is produced, even in Saskatchewan."

The United Nations has declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses, which is a good fit for Saskatchewan, as the province's growers are significant producers of chickpeas, lentils, peas and beans. The province produces 72 per cent of the world's lentil exports and Canadian lentils are consumed in over 150 countries worldwide, including places like India, China, Turkey, Bangladesh, the UAE, Egypt and more.

"Co-op is proud to serve farmers and ranchers throughout Western Canada, where the agriculture sector is helping to build healthy, sustainable communities," said Ron Healey, Associate Vice-President Ag and Home with Federated Co-operatives Limited.

"Through partnerships with organizations like Farm & Food Care Saskatchewan, as well as our Grown, Raised and Produced at Home initiative that showcases local products in Co-op Food Stores, we are helping to share that story. By encouraging dialogue, we can promote agricultural awareness and help our farmers and ranchers grow today and into the future."

This initiative is part of a series of activities FFC SK is leading to celebrate Agriculture Month this October, including:

  • Real Dirt on Farming Training for university students and industry professionals
  • Farm tour for health professionals
  • Social Media campaign
  • OurFoodHasAStory.ca and Twitter contest: #OurFoodHasAStory
  • Messaging at Regina mall food court
  • Co-promotions with partner groups (Co-operators Insurance, Western Development Museums, Saskatchewan 4-H Clubs, Girl Guides of Canada, Great Western Brewing, Saskatchewan newcomer groups)

Participating Co-op Food Store Locations:

Saskatoon

  • Marketplace on Attridge (402 Ludlow Street)
  • The Centre Co-op (3310 8th Street E)
  • Westview Co-op (1628 33rd Street)

Moose Jaw

  • Marketplace Food Store (500 1st Avenue NW)

Regina

  • Sherwood Co-op (5875 Rochdale Blvd)
  • Sherwood Co-op (2925 Quance St)
  • Sherwood Co-op (3801 Albert St)