P.O. Box 601
7 Albert Street
St. Jacobs, ON N0B 2N0
Foodlink Waterloo Region, Buy Local, Buy Fresh
Making the Local FOOD connection!
So where is your food from?
Nothing beats the quality and freshness of our local food. At Foodlink, we encourage you to enjoy the best tasting food around while supporting our local farms and businesses. Look for the Buy Local! Buy Fresh! symbol at farmers' markets, food retailers and restaurants and "eat quality with confidence in your community".
Foodlink supports local farmers with the Buy Local! Buy Fresh! map.
Find a list of locations where you can pick up your map and support your local farmers.
Who We Are
Foodlink Waterloo Region is a non-profit organization made up of farmers, food businesses, consumers and other community stakeholders. We are actively championing a healthy, local food system to sustain our community’s food producers and consumers alike. As a grassroots organization we are taking a leadership role in linking rural and urban towards a common appreciation of local food and its role in building a stronger community.
Since 2002 Foodlink has been committed to putting more local food on more local plates. Our award-winning projects are building sustainable relationships, making locally gown food more viable to produce and easier to obtain. We are also providing consumers with the necessary information to make healthier, local food choices. Our work is creating new demand for local food products and expanding its share of the marketplace.
Why Buy Local?
There are many reasons to buy local. In doing so, you’re not only getting top quality, fresh tasting food, you’re also actively supporting local farms and providing a much-needed boost to the economy.
Freshness and Taste:
Why eat a tomato that’s traveled for days on a truck? Our local produce is fresh picked and has had the chance to fully ripen, rendering it more nutritious and loaded with flavour. Food that is fresh is often produced with fewer preservatives (essential for food traveling long distances), fostering a healthier population.
Support for Rural Communities:
When we buy from local farmers, we are supporting local businesses and providing income for families in our community. In a time when many farmers are struggling to maintain their livelihood, we can do our part to support them while preserving our rural heritage. Let’s keep our food dollars where they belong—in our own community!
Confidence in Our Food:
How much do you know about your food? Farmers on the Buy Local! Buy Fresh! Map take pride in high quality food that’s safe for you and your family. They will enthusiastically answer your questions because nobody can tell you more about your food than those who grow it!
A Healthier Environment:
By reducing the distance food travels, we can reduce carbon emissions and leave a smaller ecological footprint. When we support local food systems, we ultimately make a positive impact on the environment—cleaner air and water and farmland that’s preserved for future generations.
How We Make the Food Connection
Foodlink has taken the next step in helping consumers identify local food products. Food grown and raised on participating Waterloo Region and area farms is being served by the Buy Local! Buy Fresh! food label. We encourage you to eat quality with confidence in your community. Look for this logo on signs, bags and labels at farm stands, farmers’ markets, specialty food retailers and restaurants.
Local Harvest Newsletter
Get to know the faces behind your food! Each free e-newsletter features an in-season food, profiles local farms and food-related businesses, and includes recipes and interesting food facts. To subscribe or to obtain back issues of Local Harvest simply visit our website at www.foodlink.ca.
Taste Local! Taste Fresh!
Foodlink’s annual culinary showcase puts the spotlight on local food by pairing chefs with local farmers. It offers participants an opportunity to sample tasty hors d’oeuvres and learn about how our food is grown, while helping to foster working relationships among farmers, chefs and consumers.
Find it on-line! Our website www.foodlink.ca offers a roster of services including information about local food sources and general issues related to food localism. By providing a comprehensive listing of services, info, events and links to other related sites, our website helps consumers recognize the true value of local food.
Buy Local! Buy Fresh! Map
Finding local foods has never been easier than with this handy year-round guide to farm-gate sales in Waterloo Region. The annual publication highlights the diverse array of food products that can be found at local farms, Farmers’ Markets, restaurants and shops.
Marketing Linkages Program
To expand farm sales and raise the profile of local food in Waterloo Region, Foodlink nurtures new partnerships between growers and buyers including retailers, wholesalers and restaurants. Through its offering of customized, tailored marketing services to farms and local food businesses, Foodlink helps promote food localism and economic development.
Local Food Systems
A Recipe for a Healthy Community
Food sustains us all. When we put local food on the menu we all share in the benefits. No matter what your motivation—whether it’s support for local farmers, respect for the environment, specific health concerns or if you simply want freshest, best tasting food available, buying local is always a great choice!
Food Localism is the movement to increase the demand for, and purchase of, locally grown and processed food. This spans the full range of food products and ultimately requires the participation of all partners in the "food chain".
We can begin to localize our food system buy purchasing direct from farms and farmers' markets but ultimately, a more localized, sustainable food system will require broader product availability in more accessible locations and via more mainstream market channels. A full range of buyers including wholesale and distributors, restaurants, food retail, and larger institutions could ultimately source product closer to home.
There are many benefits to a more localized food system. Supporting our local agricultural sector contributes to strong rural communities and the preservation of farmland. In addition to supporting local farmers, food localism also helps consumers understand where their food is coming from, increases their understanding about when fresh food is available from season to season, and builds lasting relationships between urban and rural communities. Environmentally, food that travels fewer kilometres from farm to plate creates less transport-related pollution.
A strong local food economy involves a process of partnership building and awareness-raising between urban and rural residents, and the full range of food system stakeholders. Foodlink continues to develop partnerships and deliver services that help more local food appear on local plates!
Country markets and produce stands
It's almost impossible to beat the taste of fruit and vegetables that have just been picked! Savour sweet corn or melons, peppers or lettuce. There are no "flavourless" tomatoes here! This is why we encourage you to find top-quality produce at a local country market or small seasonal farmstand at the end of a farm laneway.
The Buy Local! Buy Fresh! map will guide you to local farms where you can actually see your dinner growing in the field.