UPDATED: CPMA stresses ‘Half Your Plate’ initiative - The Packer

UPDATED: CPMA stresses ‘Half Your Plate’ initiative

04/03/2014 05:23:00 PM
Chris Koger

Paul Renaud, communications manager for the Canadian Produce Marketing Association, shows the new Half Your Plate website on the expo floor of the associationChris KogerPaul Renaud, communications manager for the Canadian Produce Marketing Association, shows the new Half Your Plate website (halfyourplate.ca) on the exposition floor of the association's annual convention and trade show in Vancouver, British Columbia.(UPDATED, 7:30 p.m.) VANCOUVER, British Columbia — When Canadian Produce Marketing Association president Ron Lemaire announced the group’s new consumer marketing campaign, he stressed two things: the simplicity of the message and the complexity of all the groups involved in pushing the message.

Lemaire said the Half Your Plate initiative, which saw its “soft launch” at the CPMA’s annual convention and trade show April 3, will be a long-term program because of those foundations.

“We all know in this world of multimedia and access to information, we are regularly bombarded with ‘Do this,’ ‘Do that,’ ‘This is what’s good for you,’ ‘This is what’s not good for you,’ ‘You should be doing this today,’ ‘You should be doing that tomorrow,’” Lemaire said.

“We have to cut through that clutter and deliver one simple message.”

Although CPMA and other fresh fruit and vegetable organizations have had numerous campaigns to lift consumption, Half Your Plate relies heavily on health organizations outside the industry, in an effort to keep momentum going with a consistent message at many key points of interaction with consumers.

“Most of all, we have to create something that’s impossible to stop,” Lemaire said, “with momentum to enable the industry and partners to drive the message across Canada.”

Representatives from some of those organizations attended the April 3 luncheon when Lemaire discussed the program, including:

  • The Canadian Cancer Society;
  • Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada;
  • Canadian Public Health Association;
  • Regional Canadian produce associations; and
  • CPMA’s marketing committee.

Sam Silvestro from Wal-Mart Canada, a member of the group’s marketing committee, said he hopes the program catches on, but then quickly amended the statement.

“I know it will catch on,” Silvestro said. “I’m just hoping with that, the consumer understands just how important fruits and vegetables are to their lifestyle and they are healthy.”

Specifics of the plan were not released, but Lemaire said the rollout will continue this year with a website and social media support.

To get the ball rolling, he Tweeted a picture with the crowd in the background from the stage during his presentation.

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