by Caleb Workman
The Lance – News Editor
The University of Windsor has made the switch and it now supporting French’s ketchup as opposed the renowned Heinz name in the area.
Paolo Vasapolli, head chef for the University of Windsor, said the change was something they’ve been thinking about for a long time. It wasn’t a decision made influenced by anything else according to him.
“I’ve been personally following the whole issue for a long time and I think it’s important to support our local farmers,” said Vasapolli. “We didn’t make it public for a while but we were probably one of the first universities in Ontario to make the switch.”
Vasapolli said the university, collectively, is a huge supporter of local goods.
“If we can just do a small part to help and bring back the jobs in Leamington, the economy as a whole will be changed and we’ll be making a difference in many people’s lives,” said Vasapolli. “The whole process was just a matter of time. The entire food industry is shifting to the idea of supporting local.”
The French’s name has been around for a while for its mustard but recently made its name locally when it was announced they are buying tomatoes from Leamington, the tomato capital of Canada. This was after Heinz closed its doors for good in Leamington in 2013.
Since then, many grocery stores and restaurants have been making the switch to French’s keeping Heinz away as much as possible.
“Every day we’re hearing something new about supporting local, whether it be new growers or businesses popping up,” said Vasapolli. “It’s important because consumers look for this too. We have to recognize the hard work put in by our farmers.”
Vasapolli said the university is looking more and more to support local on a broader scale.
“There are going to be special projects launching soon to the local suppliers and businesses together to work as one and be completely local,” said Vasapolli. “We have so much produce available to us here and we have to use it.”
Vasapolli said it was a big move for the university to jump aboard the French’s train and he said they will continue to work to grow the local support.