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Reassuring Consumers and Meat Professionals—a Collaborative Meat Industry Response to COVID-19
Since the first known case in China on December 31st, 2019, COVID-19 illness has now been reported in 184 countries/regions. The rapid emergence of the pandemic has impacted global supply chains and the normal daily routines of much of the world’s population. Canadian consumers are experiencing a sense of uncertainty that has resulted in stocking up on meat and other essential supplies.
To help address this reality, Canada Beef has worked collaboratively with the national associations representing beef, veal and pork.* The resources outlined here have been developed for Canadian consumers and for meat professionals in domestic and international markets. The focus has been to provide reassurance around the safety of meat and our ability to maintain a stable supply by safeguarding the health of Canadians working in the sector. In addition, Canada Beef’s Marketing team has developed programs to help consumers cook and serve the Canadian beef they have on hand.
There is a COVID-19 page for consumers at canadabeef.ca/covid19updates with updates, industry information and helpful government links. There is another page that focuses on Food Safety Essentials.
Safeguarding the Canadian Meat Supply Fact Sheet
A fact sheet outlining the measures taken by the Canadian meat industry to protect against COVID-19 has been produced in eight languages. It has been distributed, along with a cover letter signed by seven association leaders, to meat professionals in Canada, Mexico, China, Hong Kong, Macau, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, South Korea, and Japan.
The fact sheet is available at canadabeef.ca/covid19.
Food Safety and COVID-19 Fact Sheet
A 2-sided fact sheet for consumers with clear, easy-to-understand information on COVID-19—what it is, how to prevent it, the assurance that domestic livestock and meat are not affected, as well as food safety tips—has been created. Available in English and soon to be available in French, the factsheet is available at canadabeef.ca for download here.
Securing the Canadian Beef Supply Videos
A two-part video was produced for Canadian consumers and is linked here.
Part one features cattle producers discussing what they are doing on the ranch and feedlot in light of COVID-19 and reassuring consumers that the beef supply is secure. Part two features employees from a processing plant discussing the additional safety precautions put in place to safeguard employee health and the safety and stability of the beef supply.
These videos are designed to show consumers the human face of the industry in light of COVID-19 and instill confidence in the supply and safety of Canadian beef.
Canadians are cooking at home like never before and one of the most popular items they are cooking is Canadian beef. Interest in buying, preparing and serving Canadian beef is at a record high and so are the questions coming from consumers.
The canadabeef.ca website has seen a 66% increase in total users (93 K) and 73% increase in new users of the website in March compared to the same time last year. The ThinkBeef.ca website has seen a 450% lift in monthly visits – up by 13,000 visits comparing traffic in February to March (to March 23).
Cooking instructions, recipes and information on the canadabeef.ca website are being widely shared across all of Canada Beef’s social media platforms.
Two scheduled consumer marketing campaigns have shifted focus to meet consumer needs at this time. “Restaurant options are limited. We know consumers have stocked up on beef from the grocery store and while they’re in their kitchens ready to cook, many aren’t sure where to start—they need help in the way of recipes, serving suggestions and cooking instructions,” says Joyce Parslow, Executive Director, Consumer Marketing for Canada Beef.
Parslow notes that content will shift to focus on culinary topics—with recipe inspiration to shake up mundane meal routines, and how-to information to enable consumers to brush up on their beef-centric food skills. For more detailed information on these campaigns, read the article here in this issue of the newsletter.
“How to Cook” beef resources are in development and will be available for retailers shortly. These resources are designed to help retailers promote Canadian beef as well as providing cooking information for consumers. The resources include:
“How to Cook” transparent cooking labels—these new on-pack labels use Canada Beef’s tried, tested and true 3-Step Standard Cooking Instructions for Canadian Beef. Transparent labels allow for the best view of the meat in the package. Nine cuts including Steaks (Grilling, Simmering, Marinating, NEW: Yakiniku-style Steak.), Roasts (Pot Roast, Oven Roast), Stew Beef Cubes, Stir-fry Strips and Kabob Cubes.
The One & Only Beef Retail point-of-sale toolkit — created to complement the One & Only Beef campaign the tool kit features a consumer booklet with recipes for ground beef beyond traditional meatballs or spaghetti sauce, countertop displays, a tent card, decals and more.
Independent Retail Operators Program — designed for independent and small-chain grocery stores, this kit contains everything an operator needs to promote their use of 100% Canadian beef and veal. With heightened consumer interest in food safety, retailers need to highlight that the beef in their meat case is 100% Canadian.
The Canada Beef team continues to focus its efforts to promote Canadian beef across the country.
*Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, National Cattle Feeders Association, Canadian Meat Council, Canadian Veal Association, Canadian Pork Council and Canada Pork.
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