An official press release on September 17, 2009 announced that the Government of Canada will invest $32 million in the Canada Brand initiative to put the maple leaf brand on the top quality products Canadian farmers grow and increase sales around the world.
“Canadian farmers want to make their living in the marketplace and buyers around the world are looking for the premium products the maple leaf has come to symbolize,” said Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. “This investment is going to help Canadian farmers drive market research and promotional campaigns to maximize opportunities around the world.”
The Canada Brand initiative will fund market analysis, advertising campaigns and public opinion research that will promote Canada’s safe, top quality agriculture. The Canada Brand initiative will work in lockstep with industry as a springboard to complement the successes already achieved in key markets.
“By more actively promoting the strengths and benefits of the Canada Brand, the Government will be complementing the individual marketing efforts of specific agriculture and food sectors in order to open more doors and increase sales,” said Minister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Agriculture), Jean-Pierre Blackburn.
Canada Brand is the third program delivered from the $500 million AgriFlexibility fund that was part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan. The AgriFlexibility fund was created to help reduce costs of production and improve environmental sustainability for the sector; promote value-chain innovation and sectoral adaptation; and respond to emerging opportunities and market challenges for the sector. The AgriFlexibility fund is now accepting new project proposals from provincial governments and the agricultural industry.
This nation branding initative may help Canada’s nation branding, which according to Greek-Canadian expert Nicolas Papadopoulos is necessary, even if at some surveys Canada enjoys a privileged position (2nd place at the Country Brands Index 2008, for instance).