Federal government announces initiative to connect farmers, Canadians
By Brett Ruffell
Recently, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Marie-Claude Bibeau, launched the AgriCommunication Initiative in order to better connect Canadians with Canada’s farmers and the vital role they play in our food system.
The AgriComunication Initiative supports progress towards achieving the vision established in the Food Policy for Canada that all people in Canada are able to access a sufficient amount of safe, nutritious and culturally diverse food.
It has two streams. The first aims to help Canadians better understand how their food is produced. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) will provide up to $8 million over three years to support projects that promote consumer awareness of the strengths of Canada’s agriculture sector. Projects will also help enhance Canadians’ trust in sustainability, animal care, and efforts to reduce food waste.
Eligible recipients include not-for-profit associations and Indigenous groups. The program will also support agricultural fairs and exhibitions which have broad agriculture awareness mandates.
Also part of the first stream, AAFC will also launch communications and awareness activities in Spring 2022 to highlight the sector’s efforts to adopt sustainable and environmentally friendly practices and technologies. Meanwhile, work is underway to refresh the Canada Brand platform to ensure that food businesses and partners have access to new graphics and tools optimized for today’s digital platforms, enabling them to reach more consumers and enhance virtual connections with international buyers.
This initiative was informed by public opinion research, focus groups, and consultations, including engagement with the Canadian Agricultural Youth Council, as well as industry and provincial organizations.
The second stream of the AgriCommunication Initiative will focus on increasing the sector’s understanding of consumer preferences and expectations. More details on these efforts will be available in the coming months.