BMO’s David Rinneard Speaks Out!

Canadian Agriculture, Canada food
Balancing on a tractor wheel, David Rinneard is not out of his element.

He’s a farmer and a banker. In fact his official title reads  “National Manager, Agriculture for BMO Bank of Montreal”.  But something  else really sets him aside.  He’s one of the most intelligent food people I’ve ever met.  Over the past months, it’s been huge fun to be at table with him whether it was eating Martin Kouprie’s great offerings then touring his kitchen at Pangaea or hanging out with equally-intense Rob Gentile of Buca Osteria and David Lee the brilliant chef of Nota Bene at a recent Olympic fundraiser for Gold Medal Plates.  

Earlier this year David focused his considerable curiosity on the notion of locally produced food; engaged a research firm and came up with these answers.   Coming from his desk and with his pan-national perspective, these findings have serious weight.   

BMO Survey: Canadians Willing to Pay a Significant Premium to Eat Local Food

  • Majority of Canadians try to stick to purchasing Canadian products when shopping for groceries
  • Supporting Canadian producers is cited as the top benefit of purchasing local food
  • Food Day Canada celebrates the importance of using Canadian ingredients and supporting those who produce them: Canadian famers and fishers

TORONTO, August 2, 2012 – In advance of Food Day Canada celebrations on August 4th, a new BMO survey underscores Canadians’ commitment to local food. The BMO study suggests that most Canadians try to buy local products when they shop for groceries and are willing to pay a premium to put local food on their kitchen tables. On average, Canadians are willing to pay 16% more for domestic fruits and vegetables and 19% more for Canadian meat products.

The study also revealed that:

  • Canadians are most likely to buy Canadian food products when grocery shopping for vegetables (91%), fruit (86%), poultry (84%), cheese (81%), and beef (78%).
  • The number one benefit cited for buying Canadian food when grocery shopping is supporting Canadian producers (28%). Freshness (14%), the environment (10%), and safety (9%) are also recognized as top benefits.

“BMO research suggests that Canadians are becoming increasingly loyal to the notion of buying local food, particularly fruits and vegetables, cheese, beef and poultry. Consumers appreciate the quality of food produced by local farm families and recognize the importance of supporting an agricultural sector that accounts for one in eight jobs in Canada,” said David Rinneard, National Manager, Agriculture, BMO Bank of Montreal.

Regional Trends

Canadians’ buy-local orientation is strongest for those food items for which their regions are renowned: in British Columbia, fruit and wine, beef in Alberta and the Prairies, fruits and vegetables Ontario, cheese in Quebec and fish in Atlantic Canada.

  • Ontarians and British Columbians are willing to pay the highest premium for Canadian-made products, in particular fresh fruits and vegetables and meat products.
  • Atlantic Canadians are the most likely to buy Canadian food products when they shop for groceries. This local orientation is most pronounced when it comes to fish (Atlantic Canada: 60%, Canada: 53%).
  • Ontario and British Columbia residents are the most likely to buy Canadian when they shop for wine, reflecting the vibrant wine industries in those two provinces.
  • Albertans are the most likely to buy local when they shop for beef (83%).
  • Quebeckers are the most likely to buy their local food from fruit and vegetable stands

For media inquiries and/or the full press release, please contact:

Paul Cunliffe, paul.cunliffe@bmo.com, 416-867-3996
Ron Monet, Montreal, ronald.monet@bmo.com, (514) 877-1873
Laurie Grant, laurie.grant@bmo.com, 604-665-7590
Internet: www.bmo.com                                                Twitter: @BMOmedia

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