In its third year of operation, Eat Local Grey Bruce (ELGB) President Greg Stewart and Treasurer Katherine Ngui presented a break-even financial report for 2018 at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Owen Sound, April 7th.
This achievement is primarily due to the dedicated staff, board, and community support including many generous volunteers. In addition reliance on external grant support, essential during the start-up process, was significantly scaled back.
Stewart said that the ‘Eat Local’ Co-op was one of the most innovative food distribution systems in Ontario supported by many volunteers and customers. “Close to 1,200 volunteer hours have made a huge contribution to Eat Local’s progress. The farmer-driven co-op has surpassed many obstacles while trying to create a viable distribution system in our vast rural area and to aggregate a wealthy supply of quality local food products. One of the most challenging aspects of growing Eat Local Grey Bruce (ELGB) has been trying to engage the community in the local food movement. Still, the co-op has created jobs and helped over 30 local businesses expand their customer base with the convenient one-stop-shop online farmers market.”
At the event, a gracious donation of $10,000 was presented by Alan Cowan of the recently disbanded Grey-Bruce Agricultural and Culinary Association. The funds came from the proceeds of the organization’s Grey-Bruce Culinary Map. Cowan was pleased to be able to pass these funds on to an organization with a similar mandate to that of the GBACA.
Stewart also expressed appreciation to ELGB initiator Thorsten Arnold who spoke of his original vision and design and reminded attendants to value cooperation above competition because growing the local food pie provides a larger serving for everyone involved.
Arnold thanked his wife Kristine (Persephone Market Garden), who encouraged her CSA members to join Eat Local in the initial stages, and others who have made great contributions to the success of Eat Local including: former President Jennifer Seilern (Seilern Farm), former Treasurer Gerald te Velde (Twin Creeks Farm) and president Greg Stewart (Stewart’s Fresh Produce).
The AGM ended with an important reminder by guest speaker Victoria Serda, who opened up participants’ minds to opportunities for citizen engagement in education, farm experiences, and fun food events.
Eat Local Grey Bruce is a not-for-profit cooperative of local food producers and consumers. The group envisions a year-around local food distribution system that effectively connects farmers and food suppliers to consumers, provides meaningful employment, supports local and global sustainability, supports healthy living throughout food chain, and vitalizes our food culture.
Producer members offer a bounty of seasonal fruits and vegetables, with the majority of its producers utilizing organic and natural growing practices. Eat Local also has a large selection of local grass-fed beef, pork, poultry, fish, bison and lamb. We have free-range organic eggs, duck eggs and turkey eggs. The dairy section includes a variety of yogurt, cheese, ice cream, several sheep dairy options and freshly bottled jersey milk. The baked goods include freshly baked bread loaves, locally roasted coffee beans, locally pressed oils, local honey, maple syrup and ready made frozen meals. Organic dry goods sourced from a local distributer are also available for a more robust grocery list.
Online ordering is available from Wednesday morning to Monday 12:00pm. and orders are delivered each week to doorsteps and designated Eat Local Pick-up Points Wednesday to Friday.