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Spring newsletter 2020

A WORD FROM THE DIRECTOR

The COVID-19 crisis took us all by surprise and the year 2020 risks being a pivotal year, of course.

However, the incredible resilience everyone is showing on the ground is inspiring. A tale-tale sign that there may well be light at the end of the tunnel.

While farmers, food business companies, community organizations and food banks are our turning on a dime; many key food movement actors and public health organizations are mobilizing and working together to pool resources to find solutions. At the same time, there’s a quickly growing collective awareness of the importance of the local economy. Consumer support for the local businesses that feed us has never been so strong … or important.

From Panier bleu, to the Union des producteurs agricoles’s Mangeons local, plus que jamais, to Ma Zone Québec, to Solution locale and to Mon panier vert, initiatives supporting local purchases are multiplying fast.

While I would like to salute the phenomenal efforts everyone is making, I would like to take the opportunity to mention that the entire team at the Table agroalimentaire de l’Outaouais (TAO) is there for you! Since the start of the pandemic, in concert with our community partners, we have been actively working on several fronts, such as:

  • Political work to ensure that direct market channels (public markets, u-picks, farm kiosks, vegetable boxes, etc.) remain open for farms and food businesses, both in Outaouais and in Ontario;
  • Identifying the needs and possible solutions to support producers, processors, restaurants and consumers during and after the pandemic;
  • Supporting public markets and the Marché de l’Outaouais (a coop that brings together some sixty producers in the region);
  • Consulting services to businesses in need;
  • Sending a special weekly COVID-19 newsletter listing the latest news and assistance programs for agrifood companies. To read the one from last week

Whether you have fears or need help with your business/organization, do not hesitate to contact us: covid19@agro-outaouais.com.

In solidarity,

Geneviève Grossenbacher – Directrice, Table agroalimentaire de l’Outaouais

YOUR REGIONAL AGRI-FOOD NEWS

Coming Soon: Outaouais’ 2020-2025 Agri-Food Development Plan

At the Table agroalimentaire de l’Outaouais (TAO), we work in close collaboration with many partners and key agri-food stakeholders in the region. As such, every five years, part of our mandate is to convene and lead our partners in a strategic planning excercise for the entire sector in our region. Back in the fall of 2018, when the 2013-2018 plan expired, we got an envelope to revisit it and come up with a new plan for 2020-20251. In winter 2019, we initiated the process in which we carried out:

  • Detailed document analysis (17 territorial planning tools);
  • Participation in Union des producteurs agricole’s general assemblies for producers in the region (109 participants);
  • A survey for companies and community partners (115 and 20 respondents);
  • A consumer survey (62 respondents);
  • Territorial consultations (136 participants).

On March 13th, we organized and held Outaouais’ Agri-Food Forum where we presented the results of the previous strategic plan, and the results from our SWOT analysis. We also validated the vision:

Finally, we gathered comments and ideas related to our 2020-2025 action plan. We are working hard to complete the action plan. We will notify you as soon as our Outaouais’ 2020-2025 Agri-Food Development Plan is finalized. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Aurélie Boyer by email.

NOTE: This project is funded by the Ministère de l’Agriculture, de Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation via the Territoires : Priorités bioalimentaires program.

Aurélie Boyer – Project Manager, Table agroalimentaire de l’Outaouais

FREE Membership to the Outaouais, Bite Into It! Promotional Campaign

To all food businesses,

Aware of the difficulties you are experiencing due to the pandemic and the importance of promoting regional agri-food businesses and their products, we have decided to offer you, for the coming months, free membership to our Outaouais, Bite Into It! promotional campaign. By the same token, we are offering you the opportunity to appear in our Web directory (a value of $ 60). This directory, which has been around for over 10 years, is THE place to find regional agri-food businesses, and is one of the few bilingual directories around. To take advantage of this offer, we invite you to fill out our short registration form.

Fill out our form

Note that we are working to review our promotional campaign. In fact, next week, we will launch our new website which will include a map of local businesses.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Corine Jacob by email.

In solidarity with you!

Corine Jacob  Project Manager, Table agroalimentaire de l’Outaouais

Cancelled: 5th Edition of Outaouais’ Gourmet Festival

Due to the pandemic, the Minister of Tourism, Caroline Proulx, has asked for the cancellation of all festivals scheduled until August 31st, 2020. Therefore, the Table agroalimentaire de l’Outaouais (TAO) is announcing the cancellation of the 5th edition of the Outaouais’ Gourmet Festival .

We are aware that this cancellation will affect sales and the visibility of local food businesses and their products. We will be working on alternative ways to promote them over the coming months. Also, we will use the time available to us to renew the festival and its programming, and come back with a strong edition in 2021!

In the meantime, we invite everyone to stock up on regional products and Bite into Outaouais!

To find Outaouais products:

Marché de l’Outaouais

Bringing consumers closer to local farmers and food businesses, this coop offers more than 2,000 products from Outaouais businesses (meat products, market gardeners and processed).

Outaouais, Bite Into It! Directory

Our directory features around sixty businesses in the region. It classifies them by products and services, and according to their territory. Please note that we are working on updating our website; in the coming weeks, the directory will include a map to help you find your products even more easily! Keep your eyes peeles…

Aurélie Boyer – Project Manager, Table agroalimentaire de l’Outaouais

The Chaire de tourisme Transat, in collaboration with the Alliance de l’industrie touristique du Québec and the ministère du Tourisme launched a survey to document the impacts of COVID-19 on the tourism industry which aims to:

  • Identify the challenges faced by tourism businesses and organizations;
  • Determine the priority issues to address;
  • Start reflecting on actions to put in place.

The Table agroalimentaire de l’Outaouais (TAO) invites businesses and organizations in the agrotourism and gourmet tourism sectors to complete the survey (available in French only), both to ensure the representativeness of the results and to start looking at operations post crisis.

Fill out the survey

If you have questions, email: covid-19@alliancetouristique.com (and write in the email title: “Enquête impacts touristiques”).

COVID-19: Financial Aid for Businesses

The closure of non-essential businesses has been extended until May 4th in Quebec. Also, aside from convenience stores and gas stations, pharmacies and restaurants offering take-out or delivery orders, all stores are closed on Sundays in April. These health measures affect businesses in the region. Here are some emergency assistance programs for businesses/community organizations:

Emergency support for small and medium-sized businesses (French-only)

Government financial support programs for businesses (COVID-19)

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

Programme actions concertées pour le maintien en emploi (French-only)

Stay informed:

Consulting Services During the COVID-19 Crisis

Supplying the food chain is, without a doubt, an essential service; it must be preserved. As such, consulting services for agricultural businesses are of great importance and must continue. This is why all Réseaux Agriconseils are maintaining their activities throughout the pandemic, helping producers and agri-food businesses access consulting services.

However, consultants are asked to avoid travel and in-person client meetings as much as possible. Thus, when possible, consultants opt for remote work/consultations, phone calls and virtual chats (Skype, web conferencing, etc.).

Consultants are asked to reserve on-site consultations for emergency situations only.

We invite all our producers to follow the recommended health measures provided by the government to stop the spread of the virus.

For all your needs in consulting services in the Outaouais area, you can contact me by email or at 819 281-7832 | 1866 680-1858. We are working from home, but we have remote access to our voicemail and email to serve you.

Thank you and take care!

Katéhé Traoré  Coordinator Agriconseils Network Outaouais

Attitude Client: A Checklist for Customer Service

Kontakk has developed a checklist (in French only) that reminds the 8 essential elements key to good customer service. A good read while we wait for the economy to be kick-started again!

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