Manitobans should soon find it easier to identify Manitoba foods on grocery store shelves and restaurant menus.

Stan Struthers, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural initiatives, announced over 700 thousand dollars in funding for the "Buy Manitoba" program this week.

"We're very pleased that it's happened," says Dave Shambrock, executive director of the Manitoba Food Processors Association. "It's a really good thing, not only for our companies and industry, but for Manitoba producers and the provincial economy in general."

Each dollar from the province will be matched by at least a dollar from industry.

He explains the initiative will begin with the hiring of a full-time program manager. "And then, it's really a matter of working with the retailers, whether it's grocery stores or food service outlets, the processing community and the agriculture community, on putting together campaigns which make it easier for shoppers to identify which products indeed feature local, Manitoba products."

He says we should also expect a "Made-in-Manitoba" logo on Manitoba foods within the next few years.

"Buy Manitoba" is a part of a larger five-year program to develop a branding and public-awareness campaign that will help Manitobans find Manitoba food. The funding announced this week is specifically for the two year "Buy Manitoba" program.

~ Wednesday, October 20, 2010 ~