Catching up on the French’s revolution
From the Toronto Sun
As Loblaws mops up a public relations mess in the ketchup aisle, local food advocates believe this may be the beginning of a movement powerful enough to regrow jobs in Ontario. Interest in local food and local food processing has moved beyond the realm of hardcore foodies, says Professor Sylvain Charlebois of the Food Institute of the University of Guelph
“There’s a collective awakening around how food processing is important to our economy,” Charlebois said. “When you look at manufacturing, we often forget that food manufacturing is the second largest economic sector in our province after automotive.
Customers put the squeeze on Loblaws after it announced it would pull French’s ketchup from its shelves, blaming poor sales. The Canadian food giant relented as politicians and social media questioned its patriotism.
Although an American company, French’s stepped in to buy Leamington tomatoes and Leamington-manufactured tomato paste after Heinz pulled out of the community in 2014, ending a century of Canadian ketchup-making tradition. While there’s a heated online debate over how much any product is Canadian — French’s ketchup is actually bottled south of the border — fellow Ontarians do depend on these jobs in a part of the province that has lost so much food processing and other manufacturing.