The European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan, has launched Agri Aware’s new campaign to communicate the Common Agricultural Policy to the general public and farmers, across Ireland and Northern Ireland.
The launch took place on Monday, 22 June at Family Farm, developed by Agri Aware and Dublin Zoo.
The campaign, entitled ‘Be Agri Aware – Put your thinking CAP on!’ is to be delivered by Agri Aware, the independent Irish agri-food educational body. It aims to communicate the many benefits of the CAP after 2013 to the general public and farmers, across Ireland and Northern Ireland. The message to this audience is that CAP delivers safe, quality and traceable food that is affordable for consumers, in addition to the highest animal welfare and environmental standards and clean rivers and lakes. It also ensures the sustainable management of our natural resources and the development of our rural areas.
‘Be Agri Aware – Put your thinking CAP on!’ will encompass a year-long programme of communication initiatives and events, including advertisements in cinemas and on national television, billboards and radio and newspaper adverts, among others.
A key element of the campaign will be Agri Aware’s ‘Meet the Farmer in the City’ at Family Farm, developed by Agri Aware and Dublin Zoo, which has over one million annual visitors. Agri Aware’s farmers will be the resident farmers in Family Farm, during weekends in June, July and August. These farmers will represent a number of different sectors within the farming community and they will speak to the visiting public about farming, the importance of the agri-food industry and CAP during tours of Family Farm. Agri Aware has also recruited two young farmers to work in Family Farm at Dublin Zoo over the peak summer months, to interact with visitors and organise engaging activities to communicate the CAP after 2013.
The innovative and original educational, information and communication campaign is co-financed by the EU Commission’s Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development and was awarded to Agri Aware following a competitive bidding process. The campaign is also supported by the IFA and FBD, in addition to Agri Aware’s other patrons.
Speaking at the launch Commissioner Phil Hogan said: “I want to congratulate Agri Aware on this excellent initiative. Agri Aware has an excellent and proven record in communication.
“The new CAP is complex and I welcome every effort to clearly explain and simplify the understanding of the CAP. Agri Aware won one of the top prizes in the CAP Communications Award in 2012 and I am particularly pleased that they will be a beneficiary of grant support from the European Commission this year, which I’m sure will help with this latest CAP communications initiative.”
IFA president Eddie Downey said: “The Common Agricultural Policy is vital for our economy and in particular for our rural communities and farmers. It provides a benefit to Europe’s 500 million consumers, as their food is produced to the highest environmental and welfare standards. This information campaign carries a very important message and I look forward to seeing it having an impact.”
Chief executive of Agri Aware, Dr Vanessa Woods said: “Agri Aware is communicating the CAP after 2013 to urban and rural people of all ages, across Ireland, north and south, until next April. The campaign encompasses numerous novel methods of communication to engage everyone in CAP. We will communicate this complex policy in a simple, effective and engaging way. This summer, the public should watch out for Agri Aware’s TV and cinema advertisements, as well as our novel and eye-catching billboards in major cities across Ireland and Northern Ireland.
“We are really delighted to win this significant bid for Agri Aware for the third consecutive year and I look forward to delivering a memorable CAP communication campaign with the European Commission and our patrons. Further details on CAP after 2013 are available on the Agri Aware website (www.agriaware.ie/cap).”