CALGARY — The distance from farm to table will soon be getting a lot shorter for Calgary Co-op members.
Beginning on May 29, all of Calgary Co-op’s food stores will be exclusively stocking and selling fresh Alberta beef, strengthening a long tradition of partnership between the co-operative and Alberta farmers, ranchers and producers. The “Only Alberta Beef” commitment marks the first time a major grocery retailer in the Calgary area is promising only locally produced fresh beef to its members.
“Eating local has been a trend for a while, but for more than 60 years it’s been Calgary Co-op’s mission,” said Ken Keelor, Calgary Co-op’s Chief Executive Officer. “We are committed to supporting local suppliers, and we’re proud to be the first major retailer to guarantee all our fresh beef will be from Alberta. It’s part of our focus on ensuring our members can enjoy all the outstanding agricultural products grown in the city’s backyard.”
Keelor said a new partnership with JBS Canada ensures fresh beef will be locally sourced. The agreement will see all 24 Calgary and area Co-op stores stocked exclusively with beef that is harvested, produced and packaged in Alberta, from the JBS Canada facility near Brooks.
“As a verified Alberta beef supplier, JBS Canada is proud to partner with Calgary Co-op to ensure that the fresh, high quality, local beef they are offering to their valued members is only Alberta beef,” said David Colwell, President of JBS Canada. “Alberta is proven to produce trusted quality in beef through a tradition of excellence that goes back many generations.”
“All the beef we are supplying to Calgary Co-op stores is packaged at our plant near Brooks, which employs more than 2,600 people,” Colwell added.
Rich Smith, executive director of Alberta Beef Producers said promoting Alberta beef is one of their top priorities.
“We are pleased to see a large locally-owned grocery retailer like Calgary Co-op throw its support behind Alberta’s beef industry by providing its members fresh beef exclusively produced locally right here in Alberta,” said Smith.
Alberta beef has long been lauded for its consistent colour, quality, taste and texture. The province’s pristine prairies, open spaces and clean water are ideal for raising healthy cattle under the stewardship of committed ranching families.
Keelor said Calgary Co-op’s tradition of providing the highest quality locally sourced food to its members and customers is continued by stocking only Alberta beef.
“Beef is something Alberta is known for around the world,” he said. “We are proud of our support for Alberta ranchers, farmers and producers, and we are proud to be able to offer only Alberta beef to our members.”
About Calgary Co-op
Owned by members, Calgary Co-op is one of the largest retail co-operatives in North America. Locations in Calgary, Airdrie, Cochrane, HighRiver, Okotoks and Strathmore include food centres, pharmacies, gas bars, car washes, commercial cardlocks, home health care centres, and wine, spirits and beer locations. With over 440,000 members, 3,850 employees, assets of $572 million and annual sales of $1.2 billion, Calgary Co-op received recognition as one of Alberta’s Top 70 Employers in both 2017 and 2018.
About JBS Canada
For more than 60 years, JBS has provided customers around the world with a wide variety of top-quality fresh, further processed and value-added products. At JBS Canada, we embrace the responsibility in being a respected and trusted food company in Canada. Each and every day our team of more than 2,600 individuals takes ownership of daily tasks, creating hand-crafted products with unmatched quality.
About Alberta Beef Producers
Alberta is cattle country. The open range, the Rocky Mountains, acres of Parkland and the fertile farmland of the rolling plains. These pristine natural resources are images of the west known around the world. The more than 18,000 beef cattle producers who are stewards of the industry in this province have one organization that represents their collective interests – the Alberta Beef Producers (ABP). Theirs is an industry both progressive and historic, highly technical, yet grounded in the practical. From family ranches and farms, passed down through generations, to new, state-of-the-art feeding and breeding operations, the Alberta Beef Producers is a proud reflection of this industry. Run by producers for producers, it is dedicated to maintaining a truly sustainable, competitive industry for the benefit of all society.
Source: Calgary Co-op