Homegrown Ontario(TM) identifies Ontario-produced pork, veal and lamb



    New brand helps consumers to choose local meat products

    GUELPH, ON, June 27 /CNW/ - With the growing trend towards buying local
and consumer demands for transparency when it comes to the origin of their
food; Ontario Pork, the Ontario Veal Association, and the Ontario Sheep
Marketing Agency are pleased to announce the launch of Homegrown Ontario(TM),
a new brand designed to help consumers identify and choose Ontario produced
pork, veal and lamb.
    "Research conducted by Ipsos Reid indicates that 9 in 10 consumers, when
given the choice, would prefer to purchase Ontario meat products over meat
from other origins," says Jennifer Haley, chair of Homegrown Ontario and
executive director of the Ontario Veal Association. "Ontario consumers believe
their meat purchase decisions will have a direct and positive impact on their
local economies, and will support rural Ontario and Ontario's family farms."
    Homegrown Ontario promises to help consumers identify Ontario pork, veal
and lamb products both on pack and in-store at their local retailer with an
eye-catching logo - a red barn with a trillium in the centre.
    "Ontarians have long been loyal supporters of local produce," says Haley.
"Now, Homegrown Ontario gives them the opportunity to choose Ontario product
at the meat counter too. Plus, with meat, there is the added bonus of
year-round availability."
    "In addition to helping consumers identify food which is locally grown,
the Homegrown initiative promotes open and proactive communication across the
agri-food value chain," says Bette Jean Crews, Agricultural Adaptation Council
(AAC). "The AAC is pleased to invest in a project that supports industry
partnerships, collaboration, and the promotion of Ontario products."
    The Homegrown Ontario logo will first be seen this summer on Ontario
pork, veal and lamb at select farmers' markets across Ontario including the
St. Lawrence, Kitchener, Hamilton and St. Jacob's farmers' markets. Throughout
the next few months consumers will find the logo on posters, recipe booklets,
and Ontario pork, veal and lamb products in a growing number of independent
grocery retailers and butcher shops. A new website www.hgontario.ca will offer
recipes as well as a store locator and other consumer, trade and media
information.
    "I congratulate Homegrown Ontario for their producer-led branding and
marketing campaign that focuses on the fresh, high-quality pork, veal and lamb
produced in the province," says Leona Dombrowsky, Minister of Agriculture,
Food and Rural Affairs. "The Homegrown strategy complements our government's
Pick Ontario Freshness campaign. If we buy Ontario, everyone wins, because we
are supporting our farmers, and processors, our rural economy, our environment
and ourselves with healthy food from here at home."

    About Homegrown Ontario

    Homegrown Ontario is an alliance between Ontario Pork, the Ontario Veal
Association and the Ontario Sheep Marketing Agency. Ontario Pork represents
3,100 hog farmers in the province. The Ontario Veal Association is a producer
organization that represents 450+ grain fed and milk fed veal farmers. The
Ontario Sheep Marketing Agency is a producer-run organization representing
4,200 sheep producers in the province of Ontario.
    Funded in part by pork, veal and lamb farmers, the provincial government
and Agriculture Adaptation Council's CanAdvance Program, the Homegrown Ontario
program aims to build and promote a branded identity for Ontario meats. For
more information please visit www.hgontario.ca.




For further information:

For further information: Media contact: Cara Epp, Anthony Tiburzi, Faye
Clack Communications Inc., t. (905) 206-0577 ext. 241, 234, e.
cepp@fayeclack.com, atiburzi@fayeclack.com

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HOMEGROWN ONTARIO

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