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Presidents’ Council launches consumer-directed campaign


April 17, 2008
By Marg Land


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April 17, 2008, Guelph, Ont. –
Ontario's Presidents' Council, comprised of the chairs and presidents
of Ontario's agricultural organizations, launched a new
consumer-directed TV advertising and web campaign – Farming Grows
Ontario's Future – at the recent Premier's Summit in Toronto.

April 17, 2008, Guelph, Ont. – Ontario's Presidents' Council, comprised of the chairs and presidents of Ontario's agricultural organizations, launched a new consumer-directed TV advertising and web campaign – Farming Grows Ontario's Future – at the recent Premier's Summit in Toronto.

The TV campaign and website (www.growourfarms.ca ) are the result of a three-year effort by the Presidents' Council to identify the issues and opportunities that are central to agriculture's future in Ontario. The campaign is also intended to help give recognition to everyone who depends on agriculture for their livelihood and way of life – especially the producers themselves.

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The campaign strategy is built around a research effort that helped prioritize the aspects of agriculture consumers expressed were most relevant to them. The execution of that strategy is designed to give a face and a voice to Ontario's farmers and convey the message that everyone has a stake in the future of agriculture – producers and consumers alike.

The campaign includes four 30-second TV spots, each focusing on a different theme identified by the research. The themes include:

Economic importance – agriculture is the second largest sector of Ontario's economy and third largest employer; it contributes to job creation in such areas as transportation, food processing, science, education, banking and retail

Food independence – 52 per cent of the country's prime farmland is found in Ontario helping farmers produce high-quality, nutritious food close to home

Environmental stewardship – farming contributes environmental benefits to everyone in the province by contributing important green space and providing a plentiful source of local food

The connection between family farms and values – despite the fact there are 10,000 fewer farms in Ontario than there were 10 years ago, 92 per cent of Ontario's farms are still run by families, supporting a strong Canadian tradition of self-sufficiency that is the bedrock for many communities across the province

The TV ads began appearing April 16 on most major television networks across Ontario, primarily during primetime schedules. The campaign will run in intervals until the winter of 2009. The website also went live April 16.

Each TV spot will direct consumers to visit www.growourfarms.ca . The website provides a greater level of information about the role that agriculture plays in Ontario by going into detail on the four primary themes.

The content will include commodity-specific facts related to each of the themes and provide an opportunity to showcase the commodity group members of Presidents' Council, but also to demonstrate the breadth and depth of the industry as a whole.

Ultimately, the Presidents' Council wants to use the campaign to encourage all consumers to look at farming differently and how they can contribute to the industry's sustainability.