Locally-Sourced Ontario Corn Fed Beef Now Available at Real Canadian Superstore® Locations Across Ontario

Ontarians looking for locally sourced beef can now find Ontario Corn Fed Beef at Real Canadian Superstore® locations across the province, thanks to an expanded partnership between Loblaw Companies Limited and the Ontario Cattle Feeders’ Association (OCFA). Real Canadian Superstore® is a banner store of Loblaw Companies Limited.

More than 500 Ontario farmers have committed to beefing up supply to meet growing demand from customers for Ontario Corn Fed Beef. With the announcement of 37 Real Canadian Superstore® locations involved in this program, approximately 241 Loblaw banner stores now offer Corn Fed Beef.

Loblaw introduced the Ontario Corn Fed Beef Program in 2011 at 158Your Independent GrocerTM, Zehrs Markets®, Zehrs greatfoodTM and Valu-mart® locations and in May 2012 expanded the program to include 46 additional stores including Loblaws®, Loblaw greatfood®, the Loblaws® store at Maple Leaf Gardens* and BloorStreet Market™.

“Ontario Corn Fed Beef is a top quality product at a great value – which is exactly what our customers expect from us,” says Sal Baio, senior vice president, Fresh Meat and Seafood, Loblaw Companies Limited.  “Our customers have told us they want more local products and we’ve had excellent feedback to Ontario Corn Fed Beef so far, so we’re happy to make it happen and support local farmers at the same time – it’s a win-win!”

Today’s (July 10, 2012) announcement reinforces Loblaw’s “Canadian First” commitment, a pledge to buy Canadian first, placing a priority on local and regional fresh products when the safety, quality, availability and value are right for customers.

In store, customers can look on pack and for signage in the meat section to identify Ontario Corn Fed Beef. Throughout the summer, the Ontario Cattle Feeders’ Association will be on the road visiting stores across Ontario, including Real Canadian Superstore® locations in Strathroy, St. Thomas, Peterborough, Georgetown, London and Grimsby, Ontario, offering customers the opportunity to sample this top quality product, meet Ontario cattle farmers, and learn about the program. Local stores will promote each stop in advance.

“Loblaw’s commitment to the Ontario Corn Fed Beef program is an important show of support for Ontario farmers,” says Jim Clark, farmer and Executive Director, OCFA. “We’re proud of our product and are excited that even more Ontarians now have the chance to try it through the increased distribution at Real Canadian Superstore® locations.”

Cattle raised through the Ontario Corn Fed Beef program results in beautifully marbled, rich, full-flavoured and tender top quality beef and contains 14 essential nutrients. All of the cattle in the Ontario Corn Fed Beef program have been fed a balanced diet with oversight for the development of the rations being handled by an Animal Feed Nutritionist who ensures a balanced diet of nutrient-rich grains such as corn, wheat, barley and soybeans and seasonal forages such as hay and grass.

Farmers participating in the Ontario Corn Fed Beef program must adhere to the strictest of Quality Assurance standards.

As Canada’s second largest beef producing province, Ontario’s cattle and beef sector supports more than 11,000 jobs and contributes approximately $4 billion dollars to the provincial economy.

Canadian First

At Loblaw Companies Limited, we are committed to buy Canadian first, placing a priority on local and regional fresh products when the safety, quality, availability and value are right for our customers.  As the largest grocery retailer and food distributor in Canada, Loblaw is proud to offer safe and healthy foods from across the country. Since our inception in 1919, we have taken pride in working with local farmers, fishermen and producers, helping them grow their businesses and contributing to the growth of local economies. Loblaw enjoys long standing, deep relationships with a wide assortment of Canadian suppliers and we are proud to continue the tradition and commitment to buy Canadian first.

Among the most visible symbols of Loblaw’s commitment to local sourcing are the annual Grown Close to Home™ and Savour the Season campaigns. The campaigns feature wholesome, fresh produce grown by Canadian farmers and Loblaw aims to maximize the amount of fresh Canadian-grown produce available year-round in Loblaw banner stores.In 2011, 30 per cent of Loblaw’s annual produce purchases were Canadian. Furthermore, up to 40 per cent of produce sold in-store during the peak growing season were sourced from Canadian growers.

Among the innovative initiatives the Company believes will serve as building blocks for its long-term vision to improve the sustainability of our food, Loblaw granted a $3 million gift to the University of Guelph to establish the Loblaw Companies Limited Chair in Sustainable Food Production, and took a leading role in the development of the Conference Board of Canada’s Centre for Food in Canada, which aims to develop a framework for a national food strategy.

Loblaw’s approach to business is guided by five corporate social responsibility principles: Respect the Environment, Source with Integrity, Make a Positive Difference in our Community, Reflect our Nation’s Diversity and Be A Great Place to Work.

About Canada Beef Inc.

Canada Beef Inc. is an independent national organization representing the marketing and promotion of the Canadian cattle and beef industry worldwide. Its efforts to maximize demand for Canadian beef and optimize the value of Canadian beef products are funded by cattle producers through the National Beef Check-Off, which in turn makes it possible to access beef industry market development funds provided by the government of Canada and the Government of Alberta.

About Loblaw Companies Limited TSX: L

Loblaw Companies Limited, a subsidiary of George Weston Limited, is Canada’s largest food retailer and a leading provider of drugstore, general merchandise and financial products and services. Loblaw is one of the largest private sector employers in Canada. With more than 1,000 corporate and franchised stores from coast to coast, Loblaw and its franchisees employ more than 135,000full-time and part-time employees. Through its portfolio of store formats, Loblaw is committed to providing Canadians with a wide, growing and successful range of products and services to meet the everyday household demands of Canadian consumers. Loblaw is known for the quality, innovation and value of its food offering. It offers Canada’s strongest control (private) label program, including the unique President’s Choice®, no name® and Joe Fresh® brands. In addition, the Company makes available to consumers President’s Choice Financial® services and offers the PC®points loyalty program.