Niagara-on-the-Lake peach farmer Dylan Wiens readily admits he’s not fully in the loop on all the growing programs going on in his own province, let alone the vast country of Canada. That is really why Wiens believes a new $25-million marketing campaign the federal government is unrolling will be a benefit. In a country whose farming industry can be compartmentalized by province, it’s not a bad idea to share the stories of Ontario growers to the rest of the country, and vice versa.
“It’s fairly easy to do, you can expand throughout the whole country if you want to … but that doesn’t mean that Saskatchewan or Alberta or Quebec is aware that peaches or watermelons are in season in Ontario,” he said.
The advertising campaign is aimed at promoting Canadian food as safe and building consumer confidence in local food. It will “gain recognition for the work of Canadian producers and build public trust; and, promote Canadian products on the domestic market,” a request for proposal states.
Wiens said a “patriotic buyer” strengthens everything, improving food security in Canada and giving farmers a level of certainty that they know their product will be bought by consumers.
The government is accepting pitches from companies until Feb. 18. It’s looking to spend between $1.5 to $4 million a year on media advertising.
“Consumers in Canada can be extremely proud of Canadian producers, who continue to innovate to meet the growing demand for food, while finding solutions to challenges such as environmental sustainability,” Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said in a statement to the Canadian Press.