Local Farmers Celebrate Opening of Distribution Facility

Cindy Phillips, owner of Rob Roy Market Garden with a representative from 100km Foods Inc.

Cindy Phillips, owner of Rob Roy Market Garden with a representative from 100km Foods Inc.

The official opening of the Food Distribution Hub in Flesherton will be Monday, November 10 in Flesherton.

‘We are pleased to support the development of this much-needed facility,’ says Grey County Economic Development Officer for Local Food, Philly Markowitz in a news release.

The Food Distribution Hub is a transshipment point between local farms who are members of the Chefs’ Forum and commercial buyers. Food will be picked up from area farmers twice a week for distribution locally, as well as into the Greater Toronto Area.

‘The central hub location will make it more efficient for us and the farmers we already serve,’ says Paul Sawtell in a news release. Sawtell is the owner of Toronto-based food distribution company, 100km Foods Inc.

Chefs’ Forum Coordinator Linda Reader says that presently, most of the buyers are coming from Grey County. ‘Now after three years in operation, we’re starting to get inquiries from our neighbouring counties.’

The Chefs’ Forum is a non-profit organization, which ‘assists farmers to capitalize on marketing and distribution,’ says Reader. Through the Chefs’ Forum website, ‘farms will receive orders from buyers. They’ll bring the orders here where we have coolers, and that same day, the buyers will pick it up.’

‘It’s about being able to work with neighbours, rather than compete.’‘The Chefs’ Forum has helped me really grow a lot, due to networking,’ says Chefs’ Forum member Cindy Phillips. ‘It has given me a lot more opportunities to meet people who want to buy produce.’

‘The more farms that join, the stronger the forum will be. The more produce that we can offer to chefs, the better for everyone because it opens up our ability to meet the quantities from larger companies,’ says Phillips, who owns Rob Roy Market Garden in Grey County, which has been in operation for three years. ‘It’s about being able to work with neighbours, rather than compete.’

Cindy Phillips, who owns Rob Roy Market Garden in Grey County, which has been in operation for three years.

Cindy Phillips, who owns Rob Roy Market Garden in Grey County, which has been in operation for three years.

Presently, Reader says there are more than 50 members from farms and about 75 buyers.

‘Within Grey, I’d like to see another 25 forum members. And of those, I’d like to be able to increase their production each year,’ Reader says. ‘I asked our members if they will be increasing their production next year. 100% said yes.’

All members are asked to RSVP if they would like attend the official opening and launch party for the Food Hub on November 10 at 4:30 PM. Refreshments will be served in the Village Greens Café, at 774310 Highway 10, North of Flesherton.

Chefs and buyers can register for free to see what is available locally from Grey County farmers at www.greycountychefsforum.ca

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