ONTARIO – The Ontario Maple Syrup Producers Association (OMSPA) is pleased to announce the upcoming launch of a digital marketing campaign to promote consumption of Ontario-produced maple syrup and the new provincial event, Maple Weekend. Funding for the project was provided by the government of Ontario through its Rural Economic Development (RED) program.
News of funding approval for the $18,000 project was received in April 2019. Funding will be used to assist OMSPA in expanding its digital marketing resources, along with the launch of a promotional and marketing campaign to advance the recognition of Sweet Ontario branding and the Maple Weekend event. The campaign will also promote industry expansion, job creation and an overall increase in rural economic development in Ontario.
“We gratefully acknowledge the funding support from the province of Ontario and the RED program,” OMSPA president Brian Bainborough (who owns Maple Ridge Farm in Gordon/Barrie Island) said. “The province’s support of key agricultural sectors like Ontario maple syrup production is invaluable to the agricultural industry. Without that support, projects like these would not be able to take place.”
The project, which is expected to take place in 2019 and 2020, includes the development of digital resources such as video, photos and written content to be used in digital marketing and advertising campaigns throughout the project period. The goal is to promote recognition and encourage consumption of Ontario-produced maple products, as well as promotion of Maple Weekend.
Maple Weekend is an annual provincial event that takes place the first weekend in April at participating sugar bushes across rural Ontario. The event marked its fifth year in 2019 and sees more than 15,000 visitors taking part in an Ontario sugar bush experience, bringing more than $1 million in economic development to rural Ontario each year.
As an agricultural commodity, maple syrup is almost exclusively produced in rural communities throughout Ontario. According to an OMSPA-initiated economic impact study the maple syrup industry created a total of 1,468 full-time jobs in 2011, the bulk of which were found in rural areas.
Maple syrup is a significant economic driver for rural Ontarians and contributes $41 million to Ontario’s GDP.
“Maple syrup is one of the first things people think about when looking at agriculture in Ontario,” Mr. Bainborough said. “It’s the backbone of Ontario’s agricultural community and we’re pleased to be able to assist Ontario maple syrup producers in accessing their share of the digital marketplace.”
As the official voice of sugar makers in the province, OMSPA represents over 500 maple syrup producers from across the province, who are committed to producing a high-quality product for consumers to enjoy. Members are involved with a wide range of activities organized at the provincial level or through one of the 11 local chapters located across the maple producing areas of Ontario.