Flanagan Foodservices Inc. of Kitchener is offering to help farmers use the internet to sell directly to customers.
The service, called Flanagan Market, started at the end of May and already has 28 farmers signed up, such as Mountainoak Cheese Ltd. of Haysville and Bee Local 416 natural honey of Toronto.
“It’s really trying to promote the whole local aspect and the site connects the farmers and the producers with restaurants that we service across Ontario,” said Barry Reid, Flanagan’s vice-president for sales and marketing.
Flanagan began 40 years ago and now has 550 employees serving about 6,000 restaurants and food distributors across Ontario through an inventory of about 10,000 warehoused products. It has centres in Kitchener, Owen Sound and Sudbury.
Those who want to use the internet service sign up through the website, listing the products they wanat to sell and posting a delivery schedule.
Flanagan then decides whether it wants to list that company; Flanagan has a number of prerequisites, such as companies must be established businesses and food-safety certified.
Mr. Reid says that Flanagan takes a small administration fee for the service.
He said that making money was not the reason fror launching the service; he wants to help farmers to market their products and possibly increase the scope of what Flanagan can offer its customers.