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Cheese takes centre stage in Dairy Farmers campaign

New trade agreement inspired organization to broadcast the importance of local

Canada’s dairy farmers have launched a new campaign to show Canadians that a good chunk of the cheese they eat is made in their own country, and to “evolve” amid a potential increase in imported European cheese if a pending trade deal is ratified.

The Dairy Farmers of Canada campaign titled, “Cheese. A Truly Canadian Pleasure,” highlights in broadcast, digital and print, two small Canadian cheese-making communities with European names, Paris, Ont. and Holland, Man. The choice of towns is a play on the misconception that good cheese comes from places with similar names on another continent.

“Many Canadians are still unaware that many of the wonderful cheeses we enjoy are actually produced in Canada,” Caroline Emond, executive director, Dairy Farmers of Canada, wrote in an email interview with Canadian Grocer's sister publication Marketing.

Emond also cited the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union, which proposes to flood the market with foreign cheeses, as a reason why “we needed to evolve.”

“To address this concern, we need to drive preference for Canadian cheese,” Emond said.

Canada and the European Union (EU) have an agreement in principle, but it has yet to be finalized. Dairy Farmers of Canada is strongly opposed to the trade deal, in particular the impact on the country’s fine cheese market.  It said the EU would get1 additional tariff-free access of 18,500 tonnes of cheese, most of which is fine cheeses.

The premise of the campaign — Canadians don’t know good cheese is made in Canada – is backed by focus groups, which found that European cheeses are perceived as very good quality, particularly cheese from France, said Emond.

“We are considering further research, including in-store shopper research to better understand how the consumer is making their cheese selections and purchases,” she said.

The campaign, launched in mid August, was created in partnership with DDB Canada’s Toronto office. It includes two TV commercials, Paris and Holland, airing on conventional and specialty TV.

The integrated media plan also includes out-of-home in Ontario, the Maritimes, British Columbia, and Alberta; print ads in Canadian LivingChatelaineRicardoFood and Drink, and Saltscapes; and online media.

The TV ads are airing until Oct. 11 and resume Oct. 26 until Dec. 27. The out-of-home advertising runs until Oct. 4 and print ads will be featured in different issues through to December.

This article first appeared on

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