The federal government plans to roll out a five-year, multi-million dollar "Buy Canadian" food marketing campaign later in the summer, according to a Global News story online.
According to a contract notice from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the department is looking for a marketing firm to help it launch a campaign “to better connect Canadians with, and instil pride in, Canada’s food system and its agriculture, food and seafood products.”
The official name for the project is the “Buy Canadian Promotion Campaign” and over the course of the five years, the government plans to spend between $1.5 million and $4 million each year.
The initiatives will include telling the story of Canada’s food sector, highlight the advantages of Canadian food products and promote those products on the domestic market. The idea is to build public trust in the food sector.
Components of the campaign will feature a refresh on the Canadian food and agriculture brand and working with industry and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to make it easier for Canadians to identify Canadian food products when shopping.
While the initiative's intention is a good one, some are skeptical about its success. Sylvain Charlebois, senior director of the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University, notes in a commentary about the government's plan that "Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada does not have the greatest reputation when it comes to serving the food industry. Farmers are critical of our food systems, but other elements of the supply chain should not be forgotten. If this initiative is about promoting the industry and providing transparency, then processing, distribution, and service need to be in scope. In the end, if this program properly, it has the potential to become a complete disaster."