Prince Edward Island will help fund market development and promotion for Island farmers’ food products as part of a new “Buy P.E.I.” initiative launched Thursday.
The initiative, part of a $500,000 allocation in April’s provincial budget, is expected to help producers and businesses in marketing and promotion, promote P.E.I. food’s benefits for farmers and the economy and raise public awareness and knowledge of P.E.I. food products.
“The buy local concept represents an important opportunity for domestic market growth of the Prince Edward Island agriculture and food industry,” said Agriculture Minister Neil LeClair in a release Thursday.
The Buy P.E.I. initiative’s three components are:
- an umbrella promotions and advertising campaign through local media and special events,
- a business and market development component for producers, farmers’ markets and commodity groups and
- an agri-food promotion campaign to be carried out by local groups and institutions. The marketing program is to be established, the province said.
Under the business and market development component, projects eligible for financial assistance have to improve visibility and/or availability for locally produced products and for those who produce them; attract a wider range of clientele to local products; increase promotional activity; and support the sale and consumption of P.E.I. products. The maximum contribution per applicant in a fiscal year is $10,000, and approved projects must be completed within that fiscal year.
Meanwhile, in the agri-food promotion component, the goal is to increase awareness, demand and consumption of fresh, high-quality products through groups such as youth groups, 4-H, Women’s Institutes, ag clubs, municipalities and other institutions. Projects eligible for financial assistance must improve visibility and knowledge of locally-produced products and those who produce them; make the connection between farming and the agri-food sector; encourage the benefits of using locally produced foods, and create an awareness of the value of agriculture and agri-food. Provincial funding would cover up to 50 per cent of eligible costs of a project to a cap of $1,000. The maximum provincial contribution for an applicant is $2,000. Approved projects must also be completed within the fiscal year.
The third component, an umbrella promotional and advertising campaign, will be supported through promotions, ads and special events, and support will also be provided for education and training, the province said.