Nationwide Canadian seafood marketing campaign put on hold

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A nationwide seafood marketing campaign in Canada – Choose Canadian Seafood – has been paused after the federal government opted not to renew its funding.

The Canadian Fish and Seafood Opportunities Fund, which was the government-backed funding program behind the campaign, expired at the end of March 2024, according to Fisheries Council of Canada (FCC) President Paul Lansbergen.

“As a result, the Choose Canadian Seafood campaign is on hiatus. The website is still live, but we don’t have resources to add new content,” he told SeafoodSource.

Organized by the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance (CAIA) and the FCC, the campaign launched in 2018 as a cost-sharing federal, provincial, and territorial program aimed at aiding Canada’s seafood sector and was designed to steer Canadian consumers toward locally produced seafood products.

Besides marketing initiatives, funding from the nearly CAD 43 million (USD 31 million, EUR 29 million) program has also gone toward helping the seafood sector recover from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Lansbergen declined to expand on why the funding was cut.

Last November, the marketing campaign actually expanded via a partnership with retailers Sobeys and Safeway. As part of the expansion, “Choose Canadian Seafood” labels were placed in over 300 Sobeys and Safeway locations across Canada, and campaign partners stationed at metro locations across the eastern province of Ontario offered complimentary recipe booklets, among other activations.

“The campaign’s website has undergone a significant transformation. It now includes a comprehensive seafood guide, highlighting the nutritional benefits and industry sustainability of Canadian seafood,” CAIA President and CEO Timothy Kennedy said in a press release at the time. “Our monthly newsletter will also keep our consumers informed and engaged, providing continuous updates on the world of Canadian seafood.”

Lansbergen said at the time that he hoped the campaign’s expansion would build on Canadians’ growing demand for seafood.

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