WESTERN PRODUCER — Canola producer groups of Western Canada have launched their “Hello Canola” campaign to increase understanding of the crop outside the farming sector.
“It’s a $29.9 billon industry that adds to our economy every year and 207,000 jobs in and out of farming,” said Lynn Weaver, who co-leads the initiative.
“It’s really important for our economy. About 10 percent is left in Canada and the remaining 90 percent is exported to countries all over the world,” she said.
The campaign features social media videos with an actor personifying canola. It asks residents of downtown Toronto what they know about canola, its benefits and effects on the national economy.
“It’s kind of easy to understand why people in other parts of Canada aren’t as familiar with canola but even in western provinces we speak to people, the average Canadian, they may not understand all of these incredible benefits and attributes about canola,” said Weaver.
“That’s what we did with this program, bring awareness to all of these amazing aspects of canola that we know a little bit about but we want Canadians to now love it and take ownership of being our made-in-Canada invention.”
The campaign’s website also features canola’s environmental and nutritional benefits.
“Canola is particularly good at removing carbon from the atmosphere and storing it underground because of its taproot and its roots run deeper than a lot of other crops,” said Weaver. “Approximately 70 percent of all carbon sequestered by Canadian field crops is due to canola. That’s equivalent to 11 million tonnes of greenhouse gases every year.”
The campaign also points out canola is the leading cooking oil in the country, featuring half the saturated fat compared to soybean or olive oil while delivering the most plant-based omega-3 fatty acids.
The initiative is a product of the collective efforts of Alberta Canola, SaskCanola and the Manitoba Canola Growers organizations. The website can be found at hellocanola.ca.