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500 Members Now Promoting Products Using Canada Brand

OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 01/29/13 -- Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Canada Brand strategy reached a major milestone at the end of 2012, registering its 500th member.

The strategy provides branding tools and advice to companies to help them differentiate and promote their products as Canadian, in order to stand out from the competition and increase their sales. This includes application of the well-known red maple leaf, which has been proven to resonate with consumers both domestically and internationally.

"Canada's agriculture and food products are known the world over for their superb quality and taste, so it only makes sense that Canadian companies use the Canada Brand initiative to their full marketing advantage," said Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. "Research has shown that when Canadian consumers can clearly identify a product as being Canadian, they are more likely to buy it, which is good for producers and good for our economy."

Members of the Canada Brand range from small, family-owned and operated businesses, to national companies with large manufacturing facilities. They market products that include everything from meat and seafood to processed and canned foods, from baked goods to beverages.

The 500th member to join the Canada Brand strategy is Koko Patisserie, owned by husband and wife team Kirby and Marcie Punshon, in Regina, Saskatchewan. They decided to become a member of Canada Brand after seeing it used for in-store promotions in Ontario and British Columbia, as well as on products at trade shows.

"Considering there are so many products out there, and it is easy to get lost in the mix, we thought it was a great idea to strongly identify our products as Canadian to help them stand apart," said Mr. Punshon. "We're a small company, and having the opportunity to be part of this branding initiative at the grassroots level is terrific for us. We're proud of our products and we know we can compete globally. Gaining any competitive advantage is important, and considering Canada's positive reputation around the world, being able to clearly brand our products as Canadian is a real bonus."

Supported under Growing Forward, the Canada Brand offers eligible members access to market research, a large photo bank, branding graphics, and other tools and support. There is no cost to become a member.

The Canada Brand strategy is helping gain recognition for a sector that exported $44.4 billion in agriculture, food, and seafood products in 2011, $23.3 billion of which was in processed food and beverage products. The processed food and beverage sector is the largest manufacturing employer in the country, supplying about 75 per cent of all processed food and beverage products available in Canada.

In addition to this strategy, through Growing Forward 2 (GF2), the Harper Government is offering support to industry in gaining and maintaining access to markets and capitalizing on market opportunities, both at home and abroad. GF2 will continue to drive innovation and long-term economic growth in Canada. In addition to a generous suite of business risk management programs, federal, provincial, and territorial governments have agreed to invest more than $3 billion over five years in innovation, competitiveness, and market development.

To apply to be a Canada Brand member, or for more information, please visit www.marquecanadabrand.agr.gc.ca. For more information on Growing Forward 2, please visit www.agr.gc.ca/GrowingForward2.

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario

Jeff English
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz

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