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Ottawa inches closer to launching $25 million ‘Buy Canadian’ campaign

The Federal Government is looking for advertising agencies to develop a digital-first campaign to promote Canadian agriculture products

The Federal Government is taking steps toward fulfilling its five-year, $25-million pledge to promote the Canadian food system to consumers.

Ottawa is officially looking for marketing agencies interested in pitching for the new project that will promote Canadian agricultural products, and instill pride in the Canadian food system. As first reported by GlobalNews, the request for agencies was issued on Monday.

The Liberal government committed to the Canada Brand and Buy Canadian promotional campaigns as part of the first-ever food policy introduced last June.

“The Food Policy for Canada is our roadmap for a healthier and more sustainable food system for our country… The investments and initiatives in the food policy will contribute to economic growth, better nutrition and food security for all Canadians,” said Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau, at the time. “Canadians are becoming increasingly disconnected from how food is produced,” reads the introduction to the request document (published here).

While Canadians face increasingly complex decisions about what they buy and from where, only about one-third feel knowledgeable about the agriculture and agri-food sector in Canada. Further, “Canadians generally prefer to buy Canadian food products when they are available, believing that food produced in Canada is of good or excellent quality,” states the report. “Research has also shown that Canadians have difficulty accurately identifying Canadian food products in stores and positive opinions of Canada’s food and agriculture sector are largely based on perception or very limited actual knowledge.”

The intent of the “Buy Canadian Promotion Campaign” will include building pride in Canada’s food sector, provide greater transparency on where and how food is made, showcase federal and sector investments to improve production practices and promote Canadian products in domestic markets.

The government is expecting immediate increased awareness of the high standards and values of Canadian agriculture, followed by greater consumer recognition of Canadian products.

The actual campaign is being described as “digital first” but will include “traditional tactics” such as special events, and grocery store promotions.

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