Farmers welcome new label guidelines
May 26, 2008 By Canadian Federation of Agriculture
May 26, 2008, Ottawa, Ont. – The
Canadian Federation of Agriculture applauds the federal government for
its new “Product of Canada” and “Made in Canada” label guidelines.
The CFA and its member organizations have for several years been calling for updates to labeling rules. The new guidelines are very much in keeping with farmers’ requests under the CFA’s “Grown in Canada” proposal.
“Clearly, the federal government has listened to farmers and consumers,” said CFA president Bob Friesen. “We are pleased to see that Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Gerry Ritz are taking action to provide consumers with more accurate information about where their food comes from.”
“Canadian farmers proudly produce food of the highest quality. Our members see this as an opportunity to strengthen the brand of Canadian-grown food,” said Friesen. “We welcome the opportunity to help the government develop and implement an effective promotional campaign to accompany the new guidelines.”
As shown by results of a CFA-commissioned study by Meyers Norris Penny released in June 2007, it is clear that Canadians have high regard for domestically produced food. Between 90 per cent and 95 per cent of those surveyed said they would like to buy Canadian products, and would always buy Canadian products if they were competitively priced. Half said that they would be willing to pay a premium for Canadian products, and in fact 73 per cent of that 50 per cent said they would be willing to pay a higher premium if part of that premium would accrue back to the farm gate.
With such high levels of consumer and industry support for the guidelines in principle, the CFA looks forward to the upcoming consultations to discuss details of the new guidelines. For example, farmers want to know how exactly the government will define the content specification of “all or virtually all.” They will also want to know how long a plant or animal has to be in Canada for it to be considered Canadian.
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