SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. - As Pam MacFadyen was walking through the dairy aisle at the Summerside Sobeys store Monday afternoon, something unusual caught her attention.
It was a small sticker, attached to dozens of Amalgamated Dairies Ltd. (ADL) brand milk cartons.
It had the Dairy Famers of Canada blue cow logo on it, along with “Made with 100 per cent P.E.I. Milk,” emblazoned in bold lettering.
“That just caught my eye, it really did,” said MacFadyen.
“It’s simplified, it’s not over-powering and it’s got a nice home-based feeling.”
Anyone out shopping a little earlier in the day may have noticed ADL staffers putting the stickers on a variety of products in dairy and deli aisles in grocery stores across the province. Chad Mann, CEO of ADL, explained that the company is rolling out the campaign because it wants to reassure customers of where their milk and dairy products come from.
The move was prompted by the fact that American dairy producers will be gaining access to an additional 3.6 per cent of the Canadian market, which is part of the recently announced rejig of the North American Free Trade Agreement, now called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.
“We thought we’d tap into that public conversation on consumer’s interest on dairy and Canadian dairy in particular,” said Mann.
Shoppers can expect to find the stickers on a wide-variety of products and brands.
ADL has its own self branded products, some of which are only available on P.E.I. It also owns the Dairy Isle brand, which is used on a variety of cheeses sold throughout Atlantic Canada. It also manufactures products on behalf of a number of other companies, like Cows Creamery and Tre Stelle cheeses.
If it was made on P.E.I. using 100 per cent local dairy products, then chances are it will get a sticker, said Mann.
“We hope this initiative makes it easier to identify some of the great dairy products that are made here on the Island.”
Jamie MacPhail, ADL’s marketing manager, said the company has recently noticed an uptick in sales over this time last year. The company suspects that much of that increase is being driven by Canadians making more informed choices about their dairy products and making an effort to buy Canadian and even more local if they can.
“People are looking to find out where things are made now, they’re purposefully avoiding the U.S. (products),” said MacPhail.