Photo by Anne Preble on UnsplashPartnership with Metro and their Locally Sourced program offers food competition participants increased exposure, opportunities and incentives

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair announced today a new incentive for food competition entrants at this year’s Fair. Through a partnership with Metro Ontario grocery stores, all 2019 competitors will have the exciting opportunity to be evaluated by the grocer’s product specialists, food experts and executives, with the opportunity to be selected for their Locally Sourced program. Metro will be looking for entrepreneurs on the cusp of being ready for retail, and selected partners will receive business coaching, marketing support and shelf space at Metro locations.

Since 1922, the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair has been Canada’s premier showcase for excellence in food products, such as honey, maple, cheese, butter and preserves. Successful competitors have seen business growth from the awards in excellence and Royal bragging rights. Royal Rosettes are helpful in promoting and differentiating brands, increasing exposure and sales.

“People are paying very close attention to where their food is coming from and who the people and businesses are behind that food,” said Charlie Johnstone, CEO of The Royal. “We knew that we wanted to build something special for 2019 that really showcased all of the great small businesses and hopeful amateurs that we see every year in our food competitions. When we saw what Metro was doing with their Locally Sourced program we knew it was a natural fit, and we are so pleased to have them on board to help present Spotlight on Local.”

As part of the partnership, successful entrants may earn distribution in Metro stores regionally or across Ontario, an introduction to Metro’s private brands or the opportunity to work with Metro to develop products and scale. This is in addition to the traditional benefits of entry into The Royal competitions – tremendous  exposure at the country’s most prestigious agricultural event, with the winners featured in the Fair’s media and marketing communications.

“As a neighbourhood grocer, we are always looking to tailor our product offering to the community through our Locally Sourced program. This partnership with The Royal represents  our mutual recognition and support of Ontario-based suppliers. We look forward to seeing the best that Ontario producers have to offer,” says Joe Fusco, Senior Vice President, Metro.

Food competition winners will be on display and sampled throughout the duration of the Fair in the Champions Showcase, within the brand-new feature: Spotlight on Local, presented by Metro.

For more information please email [email protected]

Royal Fair 300x150 - Metro teams up with The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair to shine spotlight on local producersAbout The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair

Every year in November, more than 300,000 guests visit The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, which is the world’s largest combined indoor agricultural and equestrian show in the world. Held at Exhibition Place in Toronto, the Fair showcases Canada’s leaders in agricultural, food, and equine excellence.

Metro 300x67 - Metro teams up with The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair to shine spotlight on local producersAbout METRO INC.

With annual sales of approximately $16 billion, METRO INC. is a leader in food and pharmacy sectors in Québec, Ontario and Eastern Canada. With its retailer, franchisor, manufacturer and distributor activities, it operates a network of more than 600 food stores under several banners, including Metro, Metro Plus, Super C and Food Basics, as well as close to 700 drugstores primarily under the Jean Coutu, Brunet, Metro Pharmacy and Drug Basics banners, providing employment to close to 90,000 people. For more details, visit

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For general Royal Agricultural Winter Fair media enquiries please contact: Ali Azzopardi, Craft Public Relations, [email protected] | 416-606-5060