Dairy Farmers of Canada goes all in on sustainability

Farmers are showing just how deep their commitment is to meeting the organization's net-zero goal.

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Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) is tying its membership to sustainability with its latest campaign, which also leans more into digital to reach younger consumers.

Throughout the campaign, real farmers proudly demonstrate their actions to protect the environment by declaring, “I’m in!” for DFC’s Net Zero 2050 goal. Announced earlier this year, DFC plans to reach net-zero GHG emissions among its membership by 2050 through reducing emissions, offsets, as well as efforts related to soil, land, water, biodiversity, waste and energy.

The spot references some of those actions, such as protecting rivers, crop rotation and using sustainable energy sources like solar. It builds upon the longstanding commitment of producers as land stewards demonstrating how they’re achieving sustainability goals.

Angry Butterfly led creative on the campaign.

Sustainability is top of mind today, says Pamela Nalewajek, VP of marketing for Dairy Farmers of Canada, calling it “table talk,” and that it’s a conversation that’s happening globally.

“They’ve been doing [sustainability] for decades,” she says, referring to DFC’s members, and the net zero announcement is a continuation of many decades of practice.

But consumers don’t know that, she admits – cattle farming tends to be a focal point for the environmentally minded, with many looking to reduce consumption of dairy and beef products to address their own footprints.

Nalewajek says it was the farmers themselves who wanted to express their commitment to reducing emissions – to the point that they shot their own footage in the campaign, a unique approach by DFC partly informed by pandemic production standards.

“I’m In” as a phrase,has life beyond this campaign as a commitment showing that producers are doing this for the long haul, and that being better for the planet is not transient.

Previously, in a spot devised by John St., DFC used pop culture to entice younger consumers referencing the iconic horror movie, Scream. “Milk. It’s the stuff you love,” was aimed at driving awareness of milk’s association with dairy products and to encourage millennials to rethink their stance on the category.

Nalewajek tells strategy the sustainability message is one that resonates with younger demos too, part of what informed a more digital approach this time around, while still leaning into traditional media like TV.

It’s going after younger consumers with a digital heavy approach tapping socially driven summer trends and activating on TikTok, Instagram, Spotify and Snapchat.

The campaign will run to Aug. 12, on televised and digital platforms, with strong influencer participation.

Ad spend, thanks to the social-heavy mix, is a bit lower than past campaign efforts, Nalewajek says.

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