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Buy local – why now's the perfect time to tell your product story

In market research, consumers would always say they support local. But when you watch them in the store, they don’t always live up to their word. Many factors take precedence at the point of purchase. There has always been a small percentage who are loyal to local. Recently, two factors have had a significant positive impact on the number of consumers looking for local:
 
Empty shelves in food stores were not something this generation had ever experienced, and it forced people to think about where food comes from. Many concluded the only way to ensure a sustainable food industry is to support local producers and processors.
 
Reduced travel and international trade have forced consumers and retailers to explore products that are local and Canadian. There’s an increased sense of pride in local and Canadian products. People are discovering great products made close to home. There’s also a better chance of getting the inventory required, as many countries have experienced interruptions in supply due to processing or logistics issues.
 
This shift in the market is a tremendous opportunity for Canadian processors to generate exposure and sales. Consumers and customers want these products right now. Good retailers react to a changing consumer, and we see more shelf space devoted to local products with promotions in flyers. Retailers are doing this because consumers are telling them they want more local. Processors have an opportunity to respond and pursue these opportunities while demand is high.
 
If you're a Canadian processor, now is the time to tell your story. Capitalize on the interest to explain the benefits of your products and why they’re better. Product attributes like interesting ingredients or a Canadian twist on any product will develop interest and bring consumers closer to your product and your brand. Share stories about your employees and perhaps local producers who supply you with ingredients. These opportunities create a stronger emotional attachment to your product and your brand. And consumers with an emotional attachment will continue to support your product into the future.
 
Be relentless in all your consumer touchpoints. This includes packaging, social media, mass advertising and any other opportunity you get to interact with the end-user. Public relations opportunities are tremendous as everyone is looking for good news stories.
 
Meet and exceed retailer’s expectations by showing your commitment to producing a great product that is consistent and safe while also showing an interest in promoting your product to generate sales. A great promotion calendar and commitment to service level are essential to get your product both on the shelf and into a shopping cart.
Source : FCC

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The FCDC and AgSmart Bring Plant Breeding to a Wider Audience

Video: The FCDC and AgSmart Bring Plant Breeding to a Wider Audience

In the vast prairies of Alberta, Olds College’s Field Crop Development Centre (FCDC) stands as a beacon of innovation and research in the agricultural world. The institution has become a key player in advancing agricultural technologies and practices. The FCDC’s commitment to applied research has driven them to seek effective means of disseminating their findings and creating a positive impact on the farming community.

One such avenue that aligns with their mission is AgSmart, an event dedicated to showcasing cutting-edge agricultural technologies. The coming together of the FCDC’s annual Field Day and Ag Smart has proved to be a natural fit, fostering a synergy that benefits both parties and propels the agriculture industry forward. The FCDC Field Day took part in conjunction with AgSmart for the first time this week on Aug. 1-2 in Olds, Alta. FCDC Program Director Kofi Agblor and Olds College VP of Development Todd Ormann sat down for an interview with Marc Zienkiewicz to discuss the significance of the two events taking part together and what the future holds.

The Intersection of Research and Technology The essence of the FCDC lies in its dedication to plant breeding and new seed varieties, particularly barley and triticale. While conducting research is essential, it becomes meaningful when its benefits are shared with the wider community. This is where AgSmart steps in, providing a key venue for the FCDC to showcase their research. This union between research and technology creates a holistic and enriching experience for farmers, ranchers, and industry professionals, the pair said.

Seeds as Technology For the FCDC, the partnership with AgSmart goes beyond mere event collaboration. It is about creating an environment that bridges the gap between seeds and smart technology, Ormann said. The college believes that for technology to truly revolutionize agriculture, it must begin with a strong foundation — high-quality seeds. As the saying goes, “it all starts with a seed.” To demonstrate this critical aspect, the collaboration aims to showcase the seed value chain as an integral part of the smartphone.

The Birth of a Powerful Alliance The idea of joining forces emerged when staff realized the potential synergy between AgSmart and the FCDC Field Day. With just a few days separating the two events, a proposal was put forward to merge them. The marketing and communications teams from both sides worked seamlessly to ensure the essence of both events remained intact, creating a powerful alliance that leverages the strengths of each, Agblor said.

Driving Advancements in Breeding For Agblor, the partnership with AgSmart has tremendous potential to drive advancements in breeding and other technology. With technologies like drones and imaging becoming integral to phenotyping, breeding is no longer confined to vast fields to assess thousands of plants manually. Instead, it benefits from the data-rich insights brought about by smart technologies. These advancements make breeding more efficient, precise, and instrumental in shaping the future of agriculture.

Overcoming Challenges Together While the partnership between Olds College and Ag Smart has been a resounding success, there are challenges on the horizon. Securing stable funding for long-term breeding initiatives is crucial to sustain progress. The college is committed to navigating these challenges and investing in agriculture’s future sustainably, Agblor said.