Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Farm News

Milk & Money

Natrel packaging goes cutting edge, plus a new app for farm finances

Releases by Agropur and FNA Strategic Agriculture Institute/Voice file photo


A man drinks milk outside of the Chilliwack Health building. Voice file photo.


fter an extensive strategic reflection that took more than a year and cost millions of dollars, Agropur Cooperative is repositioning its Natrel milk brand with a focus on cutting-edge packaging and a multiplatform strategy.


British Columbia and Atlantic Provinces consumers are now discovering a new premium brand image that is, more than ever, innovative, diverse and inspired by nature, expressing the qualities we can taste in everything Natrel does.

"Natrel's new image conveys a solid business vision based on innovation and the latest trends in product design," said Caroline Losson, Vice President of Marketing at Agropur's Division Natrel. "We are very satisfied with the result: distinctive packaging that is tougher than ever and highly functional for the consumer. Today, the Natrel brand fully reflects the quality of its products that are enjoying a strongly positive consumer response."

Innovative packaging
Along with Natrel's new brand image, a new packaging system that will serve as an industry model for milk conservation and taste preservation is also being introduced:

  • The sturdy new packaging has an ultrathin nylon lining that keeps it hermetically sealed and protects the edges, keeping the milk tasting fresh longer.

  • Milk sold in bags is packaged in a new, more air-tight plastic film that preserves the milk's quality and full flavour.

Brand image projects naturalness
The new brand image clearly reflects Natrel's roots in the word "natural": strikingly original graphic design and lifelike photos with a black background that suggests a Holstein cow's markings. The packaging makes the type of milk easier to identify, the fat content more visible and the Natrel brand more recognizable.

"We believe that this comprehensive rebranding, backed by sustained point-of-sale promotional support, will help differentiate Natrel from the competition and build on its strong leadership position in the Canadian dairy industry," said Losson. intuitive, rich, packed with ideas
The introduction of Natrel's new image provides an opportunity to reinvent the brand's relationship with consumers by creating a multifunctional technological platform featuring rich, targeted content to help publicize the brand's unique, engaging, modern and authentic character. The site, the centrepiece of Division Natrel's online strategy, is intuitive and easy to navigate. Visitors can easily grab content and share it on social media. The site, which offers tips, recipes, contests, photos and videos, sets a new standard for brand content and digital innovation in the Canadian dairy industry.

The new brand image is the result of the reflection and creative work of the Natrel marketing team, in collaboration with Cohésion, lg2, lg2 boutique, CloudRaker and DentsuBos.

About Agropur
Founded in 1938, Agropur is an important player in the North American dairy industry. With sales of more than $3.8 billion, the Cooperative is a source of pride for its 3,348 dairy producer owners and 6,300 employees. Agropur processes more than 3.3 billion litres of milk per year in its 31 plants across North America and boasts an impressive line of products that includes such prestigious brands as Natrel, Québon, OKA, iögo and Olympic (joint venture - Ultima Foods), Farmers, Agropur Signature, Central Dairies, Agropur Grand Cheddar, Sealtest and Island Farms.

Learn more at



New App Enables Farmers to Share Input Prices


he FNA Strategic Agriculture Institute, a not-for-profit informational research organization, has launched a mobile application that could have a major impact on how farmers price inputs and on researchers' ability to find reliable farm input price data.

The application, called AgPriceBook, is available to all farmers free of charge through either the Apple or Google Play app stores.

A "small idea with large potential," the app gives farmers the opportunity to post prices they have been quoted or actually paid, for specific input products. At launch the product categories covered include: crop protection, fertilizer, petroleum products, and inoculant, and FNA-STAG will add categories or products where there is significant demand. Users can request products to be added from within the app.

The app enables farmers to view prices posted within a 100 km diameter from a centre-point location they select, or larger areas, to see how the prices they are paying compare to those being quoted or paid in any area of the country.

FNA-STAG CEO Bob Friesen said that tools to increase price discovery and price transparency are vital to farmers as they adapt to the ever-changing agricultural environment.

"Farmers need more tools for cost competitiveness by discovering what prices are in other locations, including other provinces and across the country," Friesen said. "With today's marketing techniques and bundling strategies it is important that farmers have the ability to get as accurate a price as possible. The more we can do for farmers to learn about and compare prices, the better off they are."

App users are totally anonymous. When a user posts a price, the data is anonymized to a 100 km diameter which prevents identifying farmers who post prices by making "proximity connections."  As well, the app does not identify specific retailers, ensuring that no identifying connection can be made between retailer and farmer.

If producers use the app in sufficient numbers, its benefit will reach beyond individuals. Over time aggregation of the information will provide the foundation for reports that could be useful to farm organizations, researchers and policy makers. Using near-real time numbers, the data will provide the most reliable tracking of farm input prices ever available, making it an unprecedented and strong tool to help farmers improve their cost-competitiveness.

FNA-STAG says that it will use that data to produce reports tracking specific input categories and even specific products with regional and national comparisons.

"If we get solid participation, the information available to those farmers should exceed the value of any of the various farm input price surveys that have been or are currently being used," Friesen said.

But he noted that farmers will "make or break" the application. If too few farmers are willing to post prices, then the price finding features will be of little value and the aggregate data will be insufficient to generate useful reports. 

FNA-STAG thanks the developer, Push Interactions, who helped to build a useful, easy-to-understand application that will feel at home on farmers' mobile devices.  Push Interactions, formerly College Mobile, is a Saskatoon-based development shop that specializes in customized native mobile apps for all leading mobile platforms.

The app was developed with support from the Agriculture Council of Saskatchewan and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Funding for this project has been provided by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP). In Saskatchewan, this program is delivered by the Agriculture Council of Saskatchewan.

Farmers of North America Strategic Agriculture Institute (FNA-STAG) is a not-for-profit organization with the single mission of "Improving Farm Profitability."


Find the app here.






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