Growers, Weetabix to co-promote Ont. wheat

A new awareness campaign for Ontario wheat is to see Grain Farmers of Ontario partner with one of the province’s best-known wheat processors.

The Canadian arm of U.K. cereal manufacturer Weetabix has already launched a number of related promotions, including an in-store, radio and billboard campaign that ran in the Greater Toronto Area from November to January.

The GFO and Weetabix have also already branded downtown Toronto’s people-powered “Eco-Cabs” as part of this campaign, they said.

“Additional initiatives are in development and will be revealed over the upcoming months,” the GFO and Weetabix Canada said in a release Tuesday.

Weetabix’s Canadian operations, based at Cobourg, about 55 km south of Peterborough, rely entirely on Ontario wheat, 25 per cent of which comes from surrounding growers in Northumberland County.

“The collaboration between GFO and Weetabix will increase awareness, and ideally consumption, of mostly Ontario spring wheat and some winter wheat,” GFO CEO Barry Senft said in the release. “We foresee great opportunities resulting from this partnership in the future.”

The GFO noted that its promotions of wheat by way of its “Ontario Wheat” brand are “displayed prominently on all joint marketing initiatives.”

Weetabix set up shop at Cobourg in 1978, and now makes over 90 brands of cereal for the Canadian, U.S. and U.K. markets, including Weetabix, Grainshop and Alpen.

Weetabix describes its Canadian operation as “the cereal manufacturer of choice for some of its sister companies’ brands and those of major grocery retailers throughout North America.”

The campaign follows the election of the GFO’s first executive in mid-February from its new 15-member board.

Ottawa area farmer Don Kenny was named the GFO’s first elected chairman, while Henry Van Ankum of Alma and Mark Huston of Thamesville were named first and second vice-chairs respectively.

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