marketing

Is farming on the right track?

An episode of Oprah, a hard-hitting Time magazine cover story, a film called Food Inc. – farming is under increased, often one-sided scrutiny leaving many people to wonder whether modern agriculture is on the right track. Rob Hannam, President of Synthesis Agri-Food Consulting, believes it encourages everyone to do more to address public perceptions of […]

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Grow your own pasta – virtually

When I came across a website that mentioned it would let me grow my own wheat online and follow it through right to my dinner plate, I have to admit I was intrigued. I went to www.howwheatworks.com and signed myself up so I could get started. Faced with several different wheat types I could plant, […]

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Alberta Pork’s H1N1 challenges, responses

This post is a continuation from yesterday’s H1N1 topic that explored Alberta Pork’s experiences at the centre of the H1N1 media storm earlier this year. The information is based on a presentation I attended by Lee Funke of Torque Communications at the recently held Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation conference in Edmonton. He outlined some of […]

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Farmers turn to alternative agriculture

Growing numbers of farmers are turning to alternative agriculture and agri-tourism initiatives to help them earn a living. That message was illustrated by several speakers at the recent Canadian Farm Writers Federation annual meeting in Edmonton, Alberta earlier this month. Ron Hamilton, Mary Ellen Grueneberg and Doug Livingstone have each found a different niche for […]

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Whatever will they think of next?!?

There’s always someone looking to make a buck off someone else’s misfortune. But in this case, I didn’t think it would be the US Centres for Disease Control (CDC). One of the agencies at the head of the global response to H1N1 influenza, the CDC is reported to be selling a toy version of the […]

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Ten craziest products inspired by bacon

I love bacon – in fact, I’m a fan of pork in general. And especially right now, after hog farmers have taken a beating over the unfortunately named “swine flu” which was actually really H1N1 influenza, I’m supportive of any efforts to promote it and develop new market opportunities. So I was intrigued when I […]

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Here’s a side of farming you haven’t seen before…

As farmers, we tend to be a rather conservative bunch. We’re generally not known for being edgy, sexy, funky or any of those other adjectives that make people sit up and take notice.

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AgendaCamp: culinary tourism needs money, co-ordination

Money and co-ordinated leadership. Those are two things that are needed to bring culinary tourism to the next level in Ontario, say a group of participants who discussed this topic at TVO’s AgendaCamp in Kingston today.

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“Buy local” resonates with consumers

Foodland Ontario is one of the most recognizable brands in our province – and their “buy local” messages are making a difference with consumers. Recent market research shows that almost 3/4 of Ontario grocery shoppers look at where food is produced when they’re making their purchasing decisions. 

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New food labels help consumers buy Canadian

With the new year, the new Canadian food labelling rules officially kick in, making it easier for consumers to know exactly what they’re buying and where it came from. Until now, food could be labelled as Canadian without actually having Canadian ingredients – as long as it was processed or “transformed” here.

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The hills ARE alive!

Much of Austria is covered in pastoral mountainside fields – beautifully scenic but largely unsuited for agriculture. But in the mountainous northern regions of the Austrian province of Styria, some entrepreneurial farmers are not only making a living by farming on the alpine pastures, they’re also revitalizing rural communities and keeping ancient traditions alive.

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Make it easier to buy local

Ontario’s premier wants Ontarians to buy local foods…and not just fruits and vegetables. Dalton McGuinty told the audience at the fourth annual Premier’s Agri-Food Summit yesterday he wants buy local campaigns expanded to include meat, eggs and milk. That’s an admirable wish, but one that is getting more and more challenging, in my opinion. Many […]

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Tips for success

Dr. Vincent Amanour-Boadu shared the following tips on how to position yourself for success in the global marketplace with participants at the Making Tough Decisions in Tough Times conference: Increase and sustain industry share of plate and market. Consumers are not loyal and will buy from wherever they think their needs are being met. Find […]

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Meeting finicky consumers’ demands

Meeting the needs of a finicky consumer is hard – but essential for success in the evolving global marketplace. And it’s something farmers need to start committing to, according to a popular agricultural economist from Kansas State University. “We need to understand consumer needs and how ungrateful they are,” said Dr. Vincent Amanour-Boadu as he […]

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