National Newswatch

Move will help companies market domestic products around the world.

 

Ottawa—The Canada Brand platform will receive a makeover to enable it to perform more effectively in today’s social media systems and digital platforms, Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau and Trade Minister Mary Ng have announced.

The Canada Brand was launched in 2006 and provides a suite of promotional products companies can use to promote Canadian agriculture, food and seafood products. It currently includes branding and graphics material, photography for use in marketing and promotional materials, Canadian content statements, messaging on Canada’s advantages and promotion at Canada Pavilions for international trade shows.

“Canada has a great reputation for our high-quality agricultural products, and by updating the Canada Brand to take advantage of digital platforms, we will be able to showcase our excellent products in markets around the world,” Bibeau said. “This is nothing less than a necessary step for the sustainability of Canadian agriculture.”

The new look is intended to convey the message that Canadian products are safe and of the highest quality and reach new customers in international markets. It includes a modernized look, signature, messaging, and suite of digital-first marketing products for the Canada Brand. COVID-19 has forced companies to change their marketing approach including increased use of e-commerce and more participation in virtual events.

Still to be addressed is a call for a team effort by food industry and government to make the most out of the Canada Brand and the country’s sustainable food production efforts.

The approach was recommended in the final report of the Canada Food Brand initiative, issued last December, which set out a game plan for food producers and processors and all levels of government to follow based on ideas generated during a year of discussions with about 600 members of the agrifood sector.

Those sessions, led by Canada 2020 senior fellow David McInnes, a former president of the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute, focused on how to make the Canada Brand on food exports a sought-out item among consumers around the world.

Boosting the agrifood sector needs to be recognized by governments as a strategic priority with full recognition “Canada is not the only country seeking to differentiate its food system on the basis of reputation,” the report said. At the same time, the must “decide whether this is important enough to take the necessary steps to, indeed, become one of the world’s most trusted and sustainable food suppliers.

“The marketplace is signalling to all that ensuring confidence in Canada’s food supply carries new obligations,” the report said. “In return, governments must be more strategic about a super sector that consistently generates jobs and wealth across the country, is a lynchpin for caring for eco-systems and a partner in reducing food insecurity.

For more information on Canada Brand, go to https://marquecanadabrand.agr.gc.ca/

Alex Binkley is a freelance journalist and writes for domestic and international publications about agriculture, food and transportation issues. He’s also the author of two science fiction novels with more in the works.
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