Grain Farmers of Ontario ad campaign receives mixed reviews from farmers


The Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO) has launched a social media, radio, and television campaign to bring awareness to the plight of grain farmers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ad calls out Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Canadian government for not doing enough for farmers, in comparison to what U.S. President Donald Trump has done with ad hoc payments, and says that Canada’s food system is breaking. Video imagery includes empty grocery store shelves and long line ups.

The video is posted on GFO’s Facebook page. The reaction has been swift and very mixed. Many farmers feel the tone is overly negative and don’t like the use of scare tactics to convey the message. Others found the comparison to Trump’s policies off-side. Some, however, are glad to see GFO standing up for farmers and taking a tough stance.

Here is some of the reaction from Facebook:

Barb Keith-Badour
This is horrible.
I think it is awful that GFO is using footage of lineups at Costco while claiming food shortages. The lineups are about protecting people and limiting the number of people in the store, and they have nothing to do with food shortages. They certainly aren’t the food lines of the depression or at refugee camps.
There is NO FOOD SHORTAGE in Canada. No one is starving because shelves are empty. There are items not always available, but even that has reduced significantly as people have stopped hoarding.
And having spoken with some farmers in the US, many feel they will never see the money Trump claims to be giving out. I think it is appalling the GFO would even reference Trump, especially since what he says and what he does are two totally different things.
If you have a problem about the lack of support from the Federal government, then make that the message. Don’t sink to the level of US politics and use fake news and fear-mongering because it will NOT get farmers support.
And yes, I AM an Ontario grain farmer and I do NOT support this message
The poor “acting” of “stressed” farmers only makes it look more ridiculous.

Leigh Hudson
I tried to find something positive about this video. I also tried listening to this without watching it to see what kind of vibe I got from it. It is weird, creepy, and gets political real quick. I think we have forgotten who our audience is here and getting the consumer on side with the issues that we have is difficult when meanwhile they don’t even understand the basics. Overall, I would not air this video because it’s a fearmongering video and will raise a lot of eyebrows in the way we are not trying encourage. And really…Don Trump even gets some air in here? Come on. Yes he is providing support for his farmers, but that will be the last thing consumers will think of when they think of Him. We are not short of food, we are short of an effective system.

Deb Lee
This ad is a disgrace full of misleading images and misinformation. You lost me at presenting Donald Trump as a good guy when his trade war has triggered chaos in the farming industry. You’re not going to get much sympathy with this garbage, it makes grain farmers look bad.

Paul Arva
You may like or dislike Mr Trump but at least he is making sure the farms are still working. The money Mr Trudeau is putting out helps but it does not even come close . I remember a quote from Mr Churchill a country that can’t feed itself cannot defend herself. Maybe we should think about that.

Joe Vermunt
Sadly by reading the comments it is not hard to see most don’t understand the issues Grain Farmers in Ontario are facing . I can see where many think the mention/showing of Trump is not good but do you know or understand the pricing of grain and all that affects it ? Do you know the regulations that have to be followed here that imports do not have to adhere to ?

Pat Vandenbogaard
Although I don’t necessarily agree with how some of the messages are portrayed in this video , I do agree with the overall point that the GFO is trying to get across to the government and consumers and that is if farmers continue to shoulder excessive monetary burdens and expenses without receiving any fair value for their products, there will be less and less farmers in Canada and that in turn will create the instability of the food supply chain.And do we really want to count on other countries for our food? As farmers , we do not control how much we will receive for our product and we are always at the mercy of the weather, markets, politics,etc.If we don’t speak up for ourselves, who will? Most people today do not know anything about where their food comes from and what farmers are doing to get that food to their tables. I for one am glad that the GFO is standing up for farmers!

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