Local Agri-food Sector Needs Support Amid Uncertainty


With the recent events of COVID-19, local businesses in the Algoma region need to be supported now more than ever. Buy Algoma, Buy Local, a project initiated by the Rural Agri-Innovation Network (RAIN), urges us to support local during the onset of uncertain times.

The Buy Algoma, Buy Local initiative is a member-based branding and marketing program made up of farmers, producers, fishers, foragers, chefs, artisans, winemakers, and more.

“These business owners are family, friends and neighbours, all playing an essential role in our communities and regional food system,” says David Thompson, Manager of RAIN.

“Even though we’re practising social distancing, we can come together.”

Buy Algoma, Buy Local focuses on growing the agri-food sector by working together with local producers, processors, farmer’s markets, restaurants, retailers, community supporters & organizations.

Many of these local businesses are offering online ordering, delivery, curbside pickup, take-out, and using other innovative approaches to provide products and services. “We’ve created a page through the Buy Algoma, Buy Local website so that our community can easily find information on these local businesses, including what products and services they are offering during this time and how to contact them,” explains Thompson.

“There is no questioning that with the onset of COVID-19, our local economy will take a hit,” explains Peter Bruijns, Executive Director of the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre.

“The Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre’s RAIN division is offering our community a platform to access information about local agri-food businesses and we urge everybody to support them as much as possible to not only show support to our own, but to lessen the negative effects COVID-19 will have on our local economy.”

Here are a few things you can do to support these local, small businesses at this time:

  • Purchase a gift card to use at another time
  • Stock up on your favourite local products, maple syrup, coffee, tea, etc.
  • Shop online! Many local businesses are now offering shipping and delivery services
  • Enjoy take-out and curbside pickup from your favourite local restaurants

We encourage you to support them, not only during this time, but continually. Visit the website at buyalgoma.ca/supportlocal.