A new year, new resolutions!
The arrival of a new year almost always coincides with new resolutions and a long list of goals to achieve. Quebec institutions, what are your resolutions for 2022?
Since March 2020, we’ve had to isolate, distance ourselves from each other and live with multiple restrictions: businesses and cultural places closed, public and private gatherings prohibited, curfew etc... We’ve also had to live with the threat of shortages of all kinds, including food shortages.
We’ve realized to what extent our economy is massively dependent on imports, so we’ve focused on Quebec, on our local economy, food autonomy and buying local. The Quebec government has also implemented measures such as the Stratégie nationale d’achats d’aliments québécois (SNAAQ) and investments to increase the procurement of local foods by Quebec’s public institutions. For example, financial assistance of $3.5 million was announced to support 12 projects with this goal.
So, if we had a 2022 resolution to propose to our Quebec institutions, it would be to encourage our food autonomy and prioritize our local economy by putting healthy, local and environmentally-responsible food on the menus and plates of your food services.
Aliments du Québec can help you make your resolution a reality!
Several programs are at your disposal to help you to accomplish this resolution.
Have you heard of Aliments du Québec au menu - Institution?
This program was built on a dream…. the dream that local Quebec foods be featured prominently in the cafeterias, bistros or food services of our hospitals, daycare centers, schools and universities!
Équiterre and Aliments du Québec, with the support of the ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec (MAPAQ), joined forces to develop a recognition program for institutions that have local food on their their food services’ menu.
Objectives of the Aliments du Québec au menu - Institution program
The objective of this program is to promote efforts through the recognition of institutions that source Quebec foods and encourage them to gradually increase their purchases of local products. A similar program, developed in partnership with the Association Restauration Québec (ARQ), also exists for restaurants (Aliments du Québec au menu - Restaurant, which is also experiencing increasing popularity).
Showcase your commitment to buying local!
The program is for all institutions, large and small, that wish to make a shift toward more locally sourced food.
Among the institutions already involved in the program, there are establishments from different sectors:
- Childhood educational services;
- Schools, cegeps and universities;
- Health centers (hospitals, CHSLDs and residences);
- Workplaces (cafeterias);
Benefits of the program
The recognition program provides institutions with the following benefits:
- Respond to the growing customer demand for fresh, locally sourced food;
- Showcase your institution’s commitment to buying local;
- Benefit from a structured program to guide you in the process;
- Get support to find new partners and suppliers;
- Support Quebec farmers and producers;
- Encourage the Quebec economy by purchasing and serving local products;
- Set an example by encouraging other institutions to increase their local food procurement.
Evolution of the program and results
In 2016, Équiterre and Aliments du Québec worked to adapt the program offered to restaurants to the institutional environment and tested it with a cohort of 26 institutions from different sectors and different regions. The program was officially launched in 2017.
Of these 26 pioneers in 2016, there are now 249 recognized institutions 5 years later! These establishments, located across the province, innovate and stand out in their approach to offering menus made up of local foods and are recognized by the Aliments du Québec au menu - Institution program.
And you? Do you want to stand out and put local food on the menu of your institution?
Join the program
Aliments du Québec au menu - Institution
For questions and support:
Contact Anne-Sophie Robitaille, Coordinator – Aliments du Québec au menu.