What do ketchup, steak and eggs have in common? If you answered “breakfast” then you are right. But there is another answer: Canadian pride.
Recent controversies show that Canadians care deeply about made-in-Canada food. They know Canadian food is safe and supports local jobs—including family farms that have existed for generations. In these past months Canadians have vocally supported Canadian-made ketchup and Canadian-grown beef. These same feelings emerge in their support for made-in-Canada eggs.
“We can’t keep the product on the shelf”
Heinz—a famous ketchup brand—has owned a factory in Leamington, Ontario for years. But in 2014 they abandoned their factory, 740 jobs disappeared overnight.¹
Two years later Brian Fernandez found out that French’s was making ketchup in the same Ontario plant that Heinz had abandoned.² The contrast was clear: French’s ketchup was manufacturing in Canada using Canadian tomatoes, and Heinz was not. Brian chose to buy Canadian—and he was not alone.
His Facebook post about picking French’s over Heinz went viral. Today it has been shared over 130,000 times.³ Social media exploded with support for French’s—and condemnation of Heinz.
Never mind that it's 7:15 n my kid is eating ketchup but he grabs the bottle of French's n says 'Hey, this is made with Canadian tomatoes.'
— Marisa Scott (@MommyGoals) June 10, 2016
In the battle of ketchups, Canadian ketchup won.
The same Canadians outraged by Heinz soon found a new target. In April 2016 Earl’s announced it would become the first restaurant chain in North America to exclusively source its beef from producers with the Certified Humane designation.⁴ Since there are no Canadian producers with that designation, Earl’s was effectively announcing they would no longer buy Canadian beef. Canadian cattle farmers were left out in the cold.
The response was immediate and ferocious. #BoycottEarls began trending online.
Truly disappointed in a Canadian chain NOT supporting local suppliers. Going to miss eating their burgers. #BoycottEarls
— Richard Smalley (@RWSmalley) April 30, 2016
— CKNW (@CKNW) April 28, 2016
In the face of a consumer rebellion Earl’s backed down. A decision that took three years of planning and painstaking consultation was destroyed in just seven days through online activism.⁵
Eggs and Canadian pride
When Heinz left Canada, they lost Canadians. When Earl’s abandoned Canadian farmers, they lost Canadians. Canadians would be similarly outraged if their eggs were no longer sourced from Canadian farms. Supply management ensures that is not the case.
There is an inescapable lesson from the Heinz and Earl’s controversies: Canadians will choose made-in-Canada every time. So just like we did with ketchup and beef, we must make our voices heard: we want Canadian eggs to stay Canadian. Do you agree? Share this article on social media and tell your friends why you support Canadian eggs. You can even tag us: Get Cracking on Facebook or @eggsoeufs on Twitter.