Manitoba on the Menu - Local & Sustainable Food Procurement - A Case Study of Diversity Food Services

Executive Summary


 In Canada, interest in locally sourced food has become one of the largest movements shaping

consumer food behaviour. Locally sourced meat, seafood and produce, and environmental

sustainability were identified as the top trends in the National Restaurant Associations “What’s Hot”

Culinary forecast for 2015. Another recent study done by the Business Development Bank of Canada

identified the buy-local movement as one of the five trends shaping the retail market in Canada.

In response to this growing demand, institutions have sought to increase their local food purchases.

Schools, universities and healthcare facilities have begun to transform the way they procure food by

establishing direct relationships with local producers, growing gardens, and by shifting contracts to

make local, sustainable food a main priority.


Local and sustainable food procurement has become a way for institutions to differentiate

themselves from their competitors and demonstrate their commitment to their local community.

It has become an important selling feature for customers and has been linked to increased food

sales, local economic development and creating a sense of pride and trust within institutions. More

importantly, institutions offering local and sustainable food are showing us that this can be a good

business strategy.


This case study is a resource for kitchen managers, staff, and educators within institutions with an

interest in local and sustainable food procurement.


In this case study we learn from a leading food service in Manitoba, Diversity Food Services, who

has demonstrated that procuring local and sustainable food in an institution is not only possible,

but it is good for business. The case study is framed around key challenges and barriers identified by

institutions in Manitoba, including budget, and supply, and explores how Diversity has addressed

these challenges.

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