'Iögo, Supporting Goodness' Program Launched To Support Community Kitchens

TORONTO – Just eight months after the release of its brand-new iögo yogurt line, Ultima Foods is proud to launch the "iögo, supporting goodness" program to support the mission and involvement of community kitchens in Canada. The goal of the program is simple: help people discover, or become more familiar with, the essential role community kitchens play across the country.

"We believe that eating well should be within everyone's reach. This is why we are proud to support the mission of community kitchens, which foster learning and encourage independence when it comes to daily nourishment. Because of what we are as a company and through the values of both Ultima Foods and iögo, it was natural for us to get involved in local community kitchens across Canada," explained Gerry Doutre, President and CEO of Ultima Foods.

"I'm so honoured to be involved in the iögo program for community kitchens. Through my work every day, I have the opportunity to meet people and share with them my experience and my passion for good food. In its way, this is what The Stop is doing for many Torontonians. Here, people come together to learn food skills, and to prepare and share healthy and affordable meals in order to cook and eat smarter for less. It is a wonderful way to build confidence and mutual support in a community," stated Lynn Crawford, Executive Chef and associated celebrity of the iögo community kitchen support program.

Community kitchens: making a difference
Because of its cooperative heritage, Ultima Foods and its iögo brand hold the same values of sharing and generosity that community kitchens do. Both Ultima Foods and community kitchens share the same passion for accessible, varied and delicious foods. Through iögo, Ultima Foods has chosen to partner with five community kitchens in Canada that are located close to the company's facilities as well as with Community Food Centres Canada (CFCC).

Community Food Centres Canada provides ideas, resources and a proven approach to partner organizations across Canada so they can establish responsive, financially stable Community Food Centres. These centres work to bring people together to grow, cook, share, and advocate for good food.

The Community Food Centre model was developed at The Stop Community Food Centre in Toronto. For over 14 years, The Stop has been reducing hunger, improving health, and creating social change with a visionary program mix that has food at its core. The Stop's approach goes beyond traditional methods of charitable food provisioning — it strives to meet the most basic food needs of low-income Torontonians while combating diet-related illness, reducing social isolation, and supporting local agriculture. The Stop's programs include community kitchens and gardens, cooking classes, healthy drop-in meals, a food bank, food markets, and more.

Launch of "iögo, supporting goodness" program

The program unveiled today consists of five different components:

  1. Ultima Foods will financially contribute to the activities of The Stop in Toronto. Two other community kitchens near Ultima Foods facilities in Quebec will receive financial assistance. The company will also support CFCC in the start-up of community kitchens in Calgary and Halifax, among other initiatives.
  2. Ultima Foods will donate iögo products to the aforementioned community kitchens.
  3. Ultima Foods will deploy a vast visibility campaign in the coming months solely for community kitchens. This campaign includes advertising spots, a public relations campaign, the distribution of an in-store brochure, a community kitchen section on the iogo.ca website and a personalized menu tab on the iögo Facebook page. The campaign was launched yesterday during National Collective Kitchens Day with the airing of spots that feature Chef Lynn Crawford.
  4. Ultima Foods will sell an iögo cookbook at a price of $19.99. The book will be available in English and French from the website of Quebec-based bookstore Renaud-Bray at www.renaud-bray.com. A share of the proceeds from the sale of this book will go to the community kitchens.
  5. Ultima Foods will implement a corporate volunteer program for its employees. This program will encourage employees to take one day off of work per year to participate in the activities of the community kitchens in their communities.

In fact, this program represents approximately 235 employees from the company who will donate 1,880 volunteer hours annually to cook up 6,000 portions for local community kitchens. For each chosen community kitchen, groups of eight Ultima Foods employees will prepare a large quantity of the same recipe while respecting the community kitchens criteria, which are: use healthy, local, seasonal and accessible ingredients to make meals at a low cost per serving. The members of each group will then have the responsibility to sell these dishes to their friends, family members as well as in their communities. The profits will be donated to the kitchen where the employees volunteered.

About iögo

iögo is a brand of yogurt and fresh dairy products that is 100% Canadian and that is created, developed and marketed across Canada by Ultima Foods. The brand has seven different product lines: iögo, iögo 0% (fat-free yogurt with 35 calories per 100-g serving), iögo Probio (new twists on probiotic yogurt, such as lactose-free flavours and flavours with a fruit centre), iögo Greko (Greek yogurt), iögo Nomad (drinkable yogurt), iögo Zip (tube yogurt) and iögo Nano (fresh cheese and drinkable yogurt for children). All iögo products are gelatine-free with no artificial flavours or colours. They are also preservative-free, except for the iögo 0% line. Thanks to unique recipes, iögo has over 40 flavours. As a pledge that everyone will find something to love in this new product line, all iögo products are part of Ultima Foods' "Satisfaction guaranteed or it's free" policy. For more information about iögo, visit www.iogo.ca or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About Ultima Foods

For more than 40 years, Ultima Foods has been a Canadian leader in the manufacturing and marketing of yogurt and fresh dairy products. Headquartered in Longueuil, the company has 750 employees across the country. It has world-class facilities and produces every year at its Granby plant more than 130 million kilos of fresh dairy products that are distributed across Canada. Having developed a veritable yogurt culture in the country, Ultima Foods makes products that are adapted to the tastes and expectations of Canadian consumers by investing in high standards of quality and innovation. Ultima Foods develops, manufactures and markets the iögo brand (www.iogo.ca). In addition to its iögo brand, the company owns and operates Olympic-brand dairy products (www.olympicdairy.com). Ultima Foods, which is owned by the Agropur and Agrifoods dairy cooperatives, is a major player in the Canadian food industry. For more information about Ultima Foods, visit www.ultimayog.ca or follow us on Facebook.

Source: Ultima Foods