The current supply and demand challenges have had a profound impact on various food items and a wide array of products and services for restaurants and consumers alike. Certainly, we are all acutely aware of unique challenges in procuring menu items that originate in distinct destinations with little or no options for alternative sourcing.
The “local food” movement is not a new phenomenon and as countless restaurant operators face obstacles in sourcing and maintaining a consistent supply of menu ingredients, it is critical now, more than ever, to take a closer look at products that come from “our own backyard”. Whether it is fresh produce, centre-of-the-plate protein items or a bounty of quality dairy products, there are often countless options to explore without the need to source products that have travelled outside of the province or even outside of the country.
Dairy products in Ontario and across Canada are by nature “localized”. Thousands of family-run farms produce quality milk that is processed into the many wonderful ingredients from milk to cream, cheese and butter and others that are an integral part of many menu offerings.
As a proud Restaurants Canada partner, Dairy Farmers of Ontario is happy to support the local efforts of nearly 3,400 farms that provide the milk that is processed at over 70 facilities across the province. While some of these facilities are found in the GTA based on efficiencies, many more are spread across the province and are truly a “local” source that restaurant operators should take advantage of.
Did you know that there are also 19 on-farm processors in Ontario that use milk from their own farms to produce some artisanal cheese, butter, milk and yogurt? Well, it doesn’t get any more local than these grassroots suppliers. They offer exceptional quality and some unique and in-demand varieties of products, in styles and flavours you might assume you’d need to import to have on your menu.
Cheese is where “local” can deliver stand-out results by controlling supply and limiting the carbon footprint to make items available. Whether it’s Gouda, Swiss-style, blue cheese, mozzarella, Asiago, Brie, bocconcini, Talleggio, quark or many others, Ontario dairy processors have it covered and the awards for craftsmanship to prove their value.
Check out the Ontario dairy guide at https://new.milk.org/Ontario-Dairy-Guide to learn more about local dairy products and where to source them.
You should feel confident in the supply chain that is right around the corner and feel proud to support local farmers and local businesses that put pride and passion into their daily efforts to provide you and your clients some of the best dairy products in the world!