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To your good health! Équiterre is celebrating 20 years of family farmer organic baskets

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Montréal, March 30, 2016 – Today, Équiterre is launching the 20th season of the organic baskets of its family farmers network. Équiterre’s family farmers have been contributing to the good health of Quebeckers since 1996. Some 122 farms now feed close to 52,000 people through more than 17,000 subscriptions and 610 drop-off points across Quebec!

“Équiterre takes great pride in more than 20 years of playing a “matchmaking” role between Quebec family farmers and consumers. This quite simple idea has now become amazingly successful!” explained Équiterre Senior Director Isabelle St-Germain. “The farmers of our network pioneered the organic basket formula and have acquired outstanding expertise in organic farming over the past 20 years. As a result of this partnership between Quebecers and farmers, 540 hectares of farming land are dedicated to environmentally-friendly production, while a hundred or so market gardeners, including next generations taking over the family farm, are making a living from their love of farming, by offering local organic fruits and vegetables that are so much better!,” she added.

To your good health: Celebrating 20 years of organic produce!

To highlight the 20th anniversary of this remarkable collective and public achievement, Équiterre is launching a new campaign: “To your good health!” A number of events, advertising content features and celebrations will take place until December this year, including:

  • 20 recipes prepared by 20 chefs and public figures or friends of organic baskets using the contents of an organic basket; the recipes will be featured in pictures, anecdotes, short videos and a few television features. Many interesting surprises are in store!
  • On May 17, the L’agriculture bio au Québec : mode ou changement de paradigme? panel will be presented at the Centre for Sustainable Development.
  • In 2016, the celebrations will culminate with a major North American symposium organized by Équiterre to facilitate the sharing of local and international insights into organic production and local marketing.

Online registration: easy, handy and user-friendly!

A new service is being introduced for Équiterre’s 20 years of organic baskets: online registration and payment! Équiterre developed this new web-based application to allow subscribers to change schedules and drop-off points, receive reminders from their family farmers, place special orders, access their account statements, and more. This application is also available to family farmers; close to one third of them are already using it this spring!

New producers and drop-off points!

This year, 19 new farms will be joining the family farmer network! This is twice the number of new farms to be part of the network in recent years. This figure is proof that for a growing number of young market gardeners, the formula is the path to follow in the future.

Our main partners Metro and Agence Métropolitaine de Transport are increasing their contribution this year by offering more than 44 supermarkets and 8 commuter train station incentive parking lots across Quebec, respectively, as drop-off points.

In addition, the Renaissance organization, well known for its social insertion and re-use missions, has become a new contributor to the network by offering some of its parking lots to set up new drop-off points for farmers to serve even more customers from central Montréal neighbourhoods.

Enjoy receiving your own organic basket!

Enjoy the pleasure of healthy foods this summer; please visit paniersbio.org to find the drop-off point closest to your home or workplace and register directly with the farm serving that area. You pay a seasonal commitment in advance, then the farmer confirms the date of the first delivery to us. Registrations are now open until the schedules of Équiterre’s family farmers are full. Don’t waste any time. Register now!

The story behind Équiterre’s organic baskets

In 1995, in Montréal, an organic basket pilot project was implemented in a Mile End apartment (Équiterre cofounders) with a handful of residents from this Montréal neighbourhood and Ferme Cadet-Roussel. One year later, the Quebec “community-supported agriculture” network was officially established. Today, the model is copied, adapted and imitated, but never equalled!

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For visual material

For more information:
Dale Robertson, Équiterre
514 605-2000 / drobertson@equiterre.org

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