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Dairy Cow Dances To A Different Tune

“It’ll identify for consumers those products that are Canadian and those that aren’t.”

– IAN MACDONALD, DFC

The dancing white cow with the blue maple leaf that has graced Canadian dairy products for over a decade is getting a new image.

A $5 million promotional campaign by Dairy Farmers of Canada will replace the old “Quality Milk” slogan around the cow with a different one proclaiming “100 per cent Canadian Milk.”

The cow itself will stay the same, except the blue circular background will now be drop-like in shape.

DFC unveiled the new logo Feb. 5 during its annual meeting in Ottawa. The campaign will have its official launch March 29 with a media event.

Back in 1996, when “Quality Milk” made its debut, the logo message reflected the predominant motivation for consumers to buy Canadian. Today, place of origin is what motivates shoppers in making their purchases, said Ian MacDonald, DFC’s national marketing and nutrition manager.

“We focused on ‘100 per cent Canadian’ and tested that concept with consumers. They told us that’s the right thing to do, so here we are,” MacDonald said from his office in Montreal.

Nearly all raw fluid milk used to manufacture dairy foods in Canada comes from Canadian farms, anyway. Canada imports very little fluid milk, except for volumes which cross-border day trippers bring back from shopping sprees in the United States.

But dairy products don’t need to be made entirely from milk. They can include non-dairy ingredients such as casein and whey protein concentrates. These ingredients are frequently imported and used in manufacturing products such as ice cream. DFC has long complained that cheaper non-dairy imports undermine domestic milk production and lower dairy farmers’ returns from the market.

The new logo won’t prevent such imports. But it will differentiate between those products and those made with homegrown milk, said MacDonald.

“It’ll identify for consumers, when they go to the store, those products that are Canadian and those that aren’t,” he said.

MacDonald stressed the venture is strictly voluntary. But DFC has been partnering with processors since last year to use the new logo. About a third of them are on side so far.

Of the roughly 150 dairy processors in Canada, nearly 50 are currently licensed to use the logo on their packaging and in their advertising, said MacDonald. About 2,500 individual products, representing 60 per cent of the dairy foods manufactured domestically, will carry the new logo. Imports or products made with non-dairy ingredients will not.

The promotion will run from March 29 to the end of 2009. [email protected]

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