Minister Bibeau announces AgriCommunication Initiative to connect farmers and Canadians

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Source: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Today, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, launched the AgriCommunication Initiative, which will contribute to better connecting Canadians with Canada’s farmers, and the vital role they play in our food system.

The AgriCommunication 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. Canada’s food system is resilient and innovative, sustains our environment and supports our economy. The Food Policy supports work on food fraud, food labelling, and food loss and waste, among other initiatives.

The AgriCommunication Initiative 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.

Quotes

“Farmers and food business workers across Canada work hard to provide sustainable, high quality, nutritious food here at home, and around the world. Consumers have a growing interest in learning more about where homegrown agricultural products come from and how they’re made. This initiative will develop more connections between the agriculture and agri-food industry and Canadians, which will increase appreciation and pride in our farmers and food businesses.”

–   The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

“Agricultural awareness, sustainability, and the fight against climate change have been top of mind for the youth council since its inception. We, as farmers and members of the agri-food sector, need to be able to make meaningful connections with Canadians; never before has the divide between society and agriculture been so large. Our future, and the future of agriculture, depend on a strong and vibrant relationship between people and their food. I look forward to the AgriCommunication Initiative enhancing trust between farmers and consumers.”

–   Jerry Bos, Co-Chair Canadian Agricultural Youth Council

Quick facts

  • Applications for the program will be accepted on an ongoing basis until September 30, 2023 or until otherwise announced by the program, or until funding has been fully committed. The program ends March 31, 2024.
  • Applicants who can complete activities before March 31, 2022 should contact the program immediately to discuss their application.
  • Funding for projects will be through a cost-share ratio, with AAFC typically covering 70% and the recipients covering 30%.
  • Applicants can apply for funding online through AAFC’s web site using the Applicant Guide and related documentation on eligibility criteria, support and funding available and application.
  • Announced in 2019, the first-ever Food Policy for Canada is a roadmap for a healthier and more sustainable food system in Canada – one that builds on the Government’s ambitious agenda to support the growth of Canada’s farmers and food businesses, as well as key federal initiatives like the Healthy Eating Strategy, Canada’s Food Guide, and the Poverty Reduction Strategy.
  • The Canada Brand is an AAFC initiative launched in 2006 to raise the profile of and help differentiate Canadian food products through a common strategy and set of promotional tools.
  • The Canadian Agricultural Youth Council (CAYC) is a group of young Canadians providing advice, enabling on-going dialogue on food-related challenges and opportunities, sharing information and best practices, and advising on the strengths and weaknesses of policies and programs affecting the agriculture and agri-food sectors.

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