California Growers Launch Canadian PR Program

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With funding from a California Specialty Crop Block Grant, the Leafy Greens Marketing Association (LGMA) is launching a comprehensive public relations program designed to directly reach Canadian consumers through magazines, newspapers, television and the Internet to make sure they know all California leafy greens sold in Canadian must be certified by the LGMA.

Consumer media outlets are the primary target of the campaign, which seeks to raise awareness among Canadian consumers about the safety of leafy greens from California. Shortly after the LGMA was established, the Canadian government issued a mandate that all California leafy greens imported into the country must be certified by the LGMA.

To make Canadian consumers aware of the measures being taken to ensure the safety of California leafy greens, Argyle Communications, a Canadian-based public relations firm, has been retained to conduct a year-long communications campaign. The planned program includes two separate outreach efforts targeted at food and health reporters from Canadian media outlets and blog sites.

The first of these will be mailed in the next few weeks and includes a presentation packet with basic facts and information about the LGMA along with featured recipes developed specifically for this effort. For a select target list, the packets will be hand-delivered and will include product in the form of one of the featured recipes. For the first delivery, the featured recipe is Kale Chips. Later in the summer this same type of activity will be repeated with a different theme. A food safety spokesperson will also be pitched to Canadian television and radio outlets in an additional effort to communicate with consumers about the safety of California leafy greens.

In early June, a tour of California leafy greens operations is scheduled to give Canadian media representatives a first-hand look at the comprehensive food safety program for leafy greens from California. In addition, the LGMA micro-website at www.safeleafygreens.com is being revised to serve a consumer audience with recipes and important handling information being added.

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