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Subway to ramp up Canadian meat sourcing

(Dave Bedard photo)

One of the biggest fast-food players operating in Canada has pledged to lock in Canadian suppliers for some of its Canadian stores’ meat supplies by the end of 2016.

The U.S.-based sandwich chain Subway said Tuesday it has now introduced “Canadian-raised” ham, turkey and shaved steak at its Canadian restaurants and is “committed” to sourcing all roast beef, chicken and meatballs from Canadian producers “by the end of the year.”

The Connecticut-based company recently committed to “free-from” sourcing, pledging to pull all artificial colours, flavours and preservatives from its product offerings by 2017.

So far, the company said, its Canadian arm has removed artificial colours, flavours and preservatives from 28 menu items, adding turkey, chicken and roast beef to the list as of Tuesday.

The company noted it has also moved to provide “home-grown produce across Canada, where possible,” starting in 2014 with Quebec-grown green peppers in its Quebec restaurants during peak harvest season.

This year, Subway said, its Ontario restaurants will provide Ontario-grown cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes and onions during peak harvest season.

British Columbia-grown cucumbers will also be served in restaurants in Western Canada when in season, the company added.

According to the chain’s website, its franchisees today operate 3,276 restaurants across Canada, behind only Tim Hortons among quick-service restaurants by number of stores. In sales, the privately-held chain is estimated to be in third spot behind Tim Hortons and McDonald’s.

Kathleen Bell, Subway’s director of marketing for Canada, said in a release Tuesday the “removal of artificial colours, flavours and preservatives and our move to source local ingredients where possible is the natural continuation of Subway Canada’s unwavering commitment to wellness.” — Network

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