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AAFC backs Atlantic lobster promotions

A worldwide campaign to promote Canadian lobster as a “unique delicacy” will be backed by over $450,000 in public funds, including over $320,000 in federal ag department funding.

“Our government is aware that the lobster industry has been hit hard by the economic downturn but that doesn’t change the fact that Atlantic lobster is high-quality, healthy food with high consumer appeal,” federal Fisheries and Oceans Minister Gail Shea said in a release Friday announcing Ottawa’s contribution.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) will put up $328,750 from its Canadian Agriculture and Food International (CAFI) program, which matches industry funds dollar for dollar on promotional efforts such as these.

The Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island governments will kick in an additional $126,250.

The Fisheries Council of Canada is to use the funding to “kick-start” the lobster industry with a “global promotional effort” including advertising, media campaigns, retail promotions, chef events, market research and consumer promotion.

The project will work on maintaining the U.S. as the Canadian lobster industry’s largest market, but will also include market development programs for emerging markets, particularly in Europe and Asia, the governments said.

“We are stronger in global markets when we work together,” Nova Scotia Community Services Minister Chris d’Entremont said in Friday’s release. “We continue to work with top chefs and marketing experts to remind the world why Atlantic Canada has earned an international reputation for its lobster and build new markets in the process.”

CAFI was developed as part of the former federal/provincial Agricultural Policy Framework (APF) to fund activities that “enhance and promote Canada’s reputation as the world leader in supplying safe, high-quality agriculture, agri-food, beverage and seafood products that meet the changing demands of world markets.”

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