Canada’s Largest Educational Foodservice Provider Launches The Buy Local Program, With Marketing Support From Foodland Ontario




1st Buy Local certified partners: Patricia Bishop and Josh Oulton from TapRoot Farms, Port Williams, NS

Chartwells Canada’s new Buy Local Program supports community-based local farmers and vendors, connecting students to the people and places where their food is from

MISSISSAUGA, ON, June 6 – Today, Chartwells launched their landmark Buy Local program, a coast-to-coast approach to offering quality-assured, fresh, locally-sourced food from community-based, local vendors. The program is available to approximately 650 Chartwells campuses and schools across Canada. Whether it’s a jar of honey or a basket of fresh blueberries, the Buy Local program will create direct connections between Chartwells’ chefs and local farmers and vendors.

Chartwells’ overarching objective to be a more collaborative thought partner to its schools and campuses.  With this in mind, Chartwells is actively seeking opportunities to do much more than serve food. This means partnering with local businesses and investing into the local communities where Chartwells does business. The Buy Local program is part of the Food with Purpose pillar of Chartwells’ new vision, Thinking Ahead Giving Back (TAGB). Through TAGB, Chartwells has pledged over the next 3 years to deliver 1,000,000 meals to tackle food insecurity both domestically and globally, provide 10,000 hours of community support around mental health and social issues facing students and create 1,000 jobs through a more focused commitment to student employment.

“We recognize that the campuses and schools we serve are not only important academic institutions but also key economic and cultural drivers in their communities. Our Buy Local program is our solution to sourcing local food that contributes to the overall vitality of the communities in which we operate. The program also allows us to respond to the growing demand by our students and partner schools for more locally-sourced ingredients and menu concepts,” said Eli Browne, Director of Sustainability and Culinary Innovation at Chartwells Canada.

Through the Buy Local program, Chartwells chefs can invite local farmers and vendors in their local communities to become an approved vendor through an efficient, online onboarding process hosted on a custom-built website. Participating vendors must meet Chartwells’ stringent food safety standards, and once approved, can begin sourcing to their local Chartwells school(s) and/or campus(es).

In Ontario, the opportunity of the Buy Local program to positively impact local food spend by institutions is one of the reasons why both Foodland Ontario, the consumer promotion program of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and the Greenbelt Fund, one of Canada’s leading local food advocacy organizations, support the program. Foodland Ontario is partnering with Chartwells to cross-market the Foodland Ontario logo with the Buy Local Program.

“For consumers, local food is at the heart of Ontario’s agri-food industry. Opening the door and making it easier for the Broader Public Sector to procure locally made food is part of our government’s plan to strengthen Ontario’s local food economy,” said Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “We’re proudly promoting all the good things grown and produced here in Ontario.”

“The foodservice and education sectors represent sizable market opportunities for Ontario farmers, food processors and local food vendors,” said Edward McDonnell CEO of the Greenbelt Fund. This is the first time they have supported a program they have not funded.

“Here in Ontario we are thrilled to have the support of Foodland Ontario and the Greenbelt Fund on the Buy Local program. This adds credibility to the structure and goals of the program,” said Eli Browne.

Chartwells will continue to seek support and endorsements from like-minded local food organizations across Canada who share in its goal of bringing more local food to students’ plates.



The University of Ottawa and Chartwells Launch a New Initiative

TAGB logo in French and English

University of Ottawa logo




Thinking Ahead Giving Back will increase engagement with the student population

Ottawa, ON – December 4, 2018 – Today, Chartwells Canada and the University of Ottawa announced the launch of a new aspect of their partnership. Chartwells’ Thinking Ahead Giving Back (TAGB) initiative will see the company increase its engagement with students by working with them to tackle some of the key social concerns they face every day. 

“We are very excited to bring our partnership with the University of Ottawa to an entirely new level,” said Ashton Sequeira, President of Chartwells Canada. “TAGB will allow us to become a collaborative thought partner, not only with the University, but also with our students and the campus community. By thinking ahead, we’ll identify opportunities to benefit and support our clients, and through giving back, we will focus on creating a more engaged community.”

Through Thinking Ahead Giving Back, Chartwells has pledged to:

  • deliver 1,000,000 meals, both domestically and globally, to tackle food insecurity;
  • provide 10,000 hours of community support to address the social and mental health challenges our students face; and
  • create 1,000 jobs through a more focused commitment to student employment.

 “The University values its partnership with Chartwells: it contributes to the wellbeing of our entire community and goes far beyond food,” said Jacques Frémont, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ottawa. “Most importantly, this partnership has a positive impact on the student experience and generates opportunities for experiential learning for our students.”


Chartwells wins “Excellence in Public Outreach” Fair Trade Award

Mississauga, ON — We are very proud to share the news that Chartwells was awarded the “Excellence in Public Outreach” Award at the 2016 Canadian Fairtrade Awards this past February in Halifax.

Every year, Fairtrade Canada presents this and other awards in recognition of exceptional Fairtrade supporters, partners and allies, including retailers, traders, towns and campuses. The Excellence in Public Outreach award was presented to Chartwells in recognition of events and activities that highlighted awareness of Fair Trade and created successful public engagement for Fairtrade-certified products.

Chartwells works to support Fair Trade on a national scale by increasing our procurement of Fairtrade products, and providing education and awareness to our customers on what this alternative market model is all about.

With students being our target market, and their concern for the social and environmental wellbeing of their communities, we know the key to the success of Fair Trade at the campus level is to connect what we do as food services, with the passion for food sustainability expressed by our students.

Through public outreach, we have been able to open a dialogue with our students and provide an opportunity to answer questions about the program, explain the benefits gained by those producing the products, and to encourage their support for an even wider variety of products.

Further demonstrating our commitment, we sponsored a student from one of our Fair Trade designated campuses to attend the 2016 Fair Trade Origins trip to Costa Rica. The student was selected based on academic endeavours that align with Fair Trade and the submission of an essay.

Chartwells is honoured to be the recipient of the 2016 Excellence in Public Outreach Award and thanks everyone involved for their dedication to making our Fairtrade program successful. Having this recognition helps to confirm our commitment to being leaders in advocacy for food production and will serve to strengthen our efforts to increase Fairtrade purchasing on our campuses. We will make every effort possible to support a system that resonates at a basic human level.
Compass Group Canada is the country’s leading foodservice and support services provider with over $1.9 billion in revenues in 2015 and over 26,000 associates working throughout the country. The company specializes in providing foodservices and support services across the core sectors including leading sports and leisure venues, executive dining rooms and cafes, schools, universities, seniors’ residences and hospitals as well as remote camps and off shore oil rigs.  With over 500,000 associates worldwide and operations in more than 50 countries, Compass Group Canada’s parent company had revenues of £16.9 billion in the year to September 30, 2015.