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Third Annual BMO Food Survey: Canadians Coast to Coast Making the Effort to Buy Local

- Report reveals why Canadians feel motivated to buy and eat local food

TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 07/05/13 -- Supporting the regional economy, farmers and jobs, along with fresh food and taste, all trump the cost of food for people choosing to buy local, according to the third annual BMO Food Survey. The report also revealed what products Canadians buy locally and why, and showed differences across the provinces on a variety of foods.

The top reasons Canadians buy local, include:

--  The food is fresh and tastes better (97 per cent) 
--  It supports the local economy (97 per cent) 
--  It supports local farmers (96 per cent) 
--  It creates local jobs (93 per cent) 
--  It's better for the environment (88 per cent) 
--  It offers the opportunity to buy organic produce (76 per cent) 
--  It is less expensive (71 per cent)

"We've seen from doing this study the last three years that Canadians are unwavering in their support for local farmers. An overwhelming majority have told us that they recognize the important contribution of agriculture producers to local economy and creating jobs," said David Rinneard, Director, Agriculture and Agribusiness, BMO Bank of Montreal. "Canada's agriculture industry is a major driver in Canada's economy. We will continue to work with our clients in the sector to find news way to increase productivity and remain globally competitive."

The research found that Canadians seek to buy locally grown vegetables more than other products. Plus, while there are distinct regional differences, the "locovore" movement is happening across Canada.

Albertans buy local beef more often, while Ontarians are supporting a growing wine industry by buying local wine 40 per cent of the time. Residents in B.C. and Ontario tend to buy locally grown fruit more than shoppers in other provinces. Atlantic Canadians are most likely to buy local fish, and Quebec residents are most likely to purchase locally-made cheese.

Food         Frequency    B.C.  Alberta  Prairies  Ontario  Quebec  Atlantic
             Purchased                                                Canada
Vegetables         82%     85%      74%       74%      84%     81%       79%
Bread              75%     71%      73%       72%      71%     82%       81%
Fruit              74%     80%      54%       60%      79%     76%       72%
Poultry            64%     64%      64%       63%      66%     61%       70%
Beef               60%     59%      74%       60%      58%     55%       66%
Cheese             59%     52%      50%       46%      60%     71%       53%
Fish               44%     55%      27%       35%      43%     40%       66%
Wine               31%     32%      16%       17%      40%     27%       26%

"Canadian farmers have benefited from increased demand and higher prices after U.S. crop yields were depressed by last summer's drought in the Midwest," said Aaron Goertzen, Economist, BMO Capital Markets. "Increased supply following this summer's harvest - as U.S. farmers get back on track - will likely mean lower prices for Canadian farmers, but means North American consumers should also see lower prices at the grocery store."

The results cited in this report come from an online survey fielded by Pollara between June 14th and June 17th with a sample of 1,000 Canadians. Overall results for a probability sample of this size would be accurate to +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $555 billion as at April 30, 2013, and more than 46,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.

Media Contacts:
Russell Baker, Toronto
(416) 867-3996
[email protected]

Valerie Doucet, Montreal
(514) 877-8224
[email protected]

Laurie Grant, Vancouver
(604) 665-7596
[email protected]

Twitter: @BMOmedia

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