Online livestock supply store expands reach west

(Staff photo)

An Ontario livestock nutrition firm’s venture into online retail for producers is expanding into the Prairie provinces with four pickup and ordering points in the region.

Cambridge, Ont.-based GVF Group announced Thursday its Farmers Farmacy business, previously available only to producers in Ontario, the Maritime provinces and Quebec, now also serves Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

“A lot of the progress of Farmers Farmacy has happened very organically, driven by the evolution of the marketplace and our farmer customer base,” GVF vice-president David Ross said in a release. “The new western expansion is another natural next step.”

The company began shipping goods to the Prairies at the end of June and will offer physical pickup and in-store ordering at the Lethbridge, Red Deer, Brandon and Winnipeg locations of another GVF subsidiary, mineral premix manufacturer Fortified Nutrition Ltd.

Orders can be made online, by phone or fax or at one of the four locations for pickup within two weeks, the company said. Shipping to one of the four pickup points will be free on orders with a before-tax value of $500 or more.

The company last year opened a retail store at Brandon but said it will now transition that operation to a Farmers Farmacy ordering and pickup point.

“The world of retail and distribution is constantly evolving, with advances in e-commerce and on-demand, direct-to-customer options leading the charge,” GVF CEO Ian Ross said in the same release.

“This presents exciting opportunities to bring innovative models and options to the marketplace — including new ways of bringing enhanced convenience, efficiency and value to farmers.

Farmers Farmacy is billed as offering a “full catalogue of over 1,700 items ranging from animal health products to barn equipment, maintenance supplies and work clothes.” The company said its online retail items cover a “complete range” of options for dairy, swine, poultry, beef and sheep operations.

The Farmers Farmacy business started in 1996 as a service offered to premix customers of GVF Group’s flagship operation, Grand Valley Fortifiers, running out of a back room at the Grand Valley premix plant.

Farmers Farmacy relocated in June to a 23,000-square-foot space in Cambridge, including a physical retail outlet.

The company said its Cambridge staff will be “directly involved” in serving Prairie customers alonside local staff at the Fortified Nutrition stores. — Network

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