Super Team

Assessing and Identifying Opportunities to Buy More Local Apples in the Broader Public Sector

Public sector institutions are sourcing apple products from across the continent, and whole apples from around the world. But most facilities would love to integrate more Ontario product into the menus, meals, and snacks. Working closely with the Ontario Apple Growers, My Sustainable Canada identified product opportunities for Ontario's apple growers to more strategically develop, pack, and market products to Ontario health care facilities, public school boards, colleges/universities, and correctional facilities, in order to increase the sales of Ontario apple products.

Captured in the attached four infographics are the procurement steps and opportunities for marketing to Ontario correctional facilities, public schools, campuses, and health care facilities. These infographics, designed by Hypenotic, illustrate the findings from the ~50 surveys conducted with procurement officials within the BPS. Through their development, many consultations occurred with the institutions, sensitizing them to the opportunities and barriers that new vendors face when attempting to market to them. These information resources are intended to help apple industry members conceptualize and plan their strategy to approach BPS institutions, and to reach a broader audience within the local value chain (supply and demand side) to help them recognize what opportunities they have to facilitate the easier flow of Ontario product to public sector institutions. These infographics can be used by any person or organization who wants to help move the Ontario food system toward greater transparency and local ownership. These infographics can also serve as tools for the broader local food industry to refer back to for enlightenment and ideas on how to approach the BPS.

10 Things Institutions Can Do to Support the Local Apple Industry

    1. Ask your distributor for local apples and apple products
    2. Track the origin of your purchases
    3. Work with your distributor to carry and promote Ontario apple vendors
    4. Post your RFPs loud and proud with clear instructions
    5. Make clear, specific demands from industry: tell them exactly what you want, including what variety, what size, what shape, what packaging, what colour... where, when, and how much!
    6. Aggregate your ask with other facilities
    7. Invite local vendors into your facility for demonstrations
    8. Plant an apple tree at your facility
    9. Visit a local orchard or farm and learn about apple varieties and handling
    10. Promote local foods at your facility and increase staff literacy around local food


This project was made possible by the support of the Greenbelt's Broader Public Sector Investment Fund.