The money will go to Canadian ginseng awareness campaigns, and those will be focused on Asian markets, according to a press release from the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food.
“With this investment, OGGA [the Ontario Ginseng Growers' Association] will develop a social media and marketing campaign that includes increasing awareness of the innovative uses for Canadian ginseng in products such as soups, teas and cosmetics,” says the release. “It will also support their promotion of trade shows in key Asian markets.”
This week, Brian May formally announced that Canada’s Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food is investing CAN$420,000 to promote the country’s ginseng crop. May, a member of Parliament, spoke on behalf of Lawrence MacAulay, Canada’s Agricultural Minister. MacAulay has been a member of Parliament since 1988 and is a farmer by trade.
In comments to the press about the funding, MacAulay boasts, “Ontario ginseng farmers produce the best quality ginseng in the world, and the market opportunities are only set to grow.”
“With this investment,” he says, “our government is making sure ginseng farmers can promote their products to consumers in emerging markets, which will help create good jobs and strengthen our economy.”
For Canadian ginseng farmers, the funding is something of an encouragement or congratulations for working to make the crop, which is native to North America, viable as an export item. “Ginseng farmers have made ginseng an incredible success story for the region,” May tells the press, “and our government is committed to helping them grow, because they are supporting farm families and our vibrant rural communities.”
And Remi Van De Slyke, chair of the OGGA, remarks on the impressive market reach of Canadian ginseng: “The AgriMarketing program has transformed the ginseng industry in Ontario from an unknown entity to a global player.”
Not only is ginseng a conventional herbal ingredient in Chinese wellness and beauty products, it’s also an integral ingredient in skin care trends on the rise globally.
Ayurvedic beauty as well as product lines inspired by TCM, or traditional Chinese medicine, are gaining popularity and the industry is innovating to grow this niche. At the start of the year, for instance, Amway expanded the work its Botanical Research Center does with TCM ingredients, looking for “new ways to use the materials in personal care and beauty product formulations,” as Cosmetics Design reported.
And brands of every size, from indie startups to multinational mainstays, are getting in on the current, global Ayurvedic beauty trend. Indie brands innovating in this space include Ranavat Botanics, Exquis Skincare, and Kalp (a Canadian brand, no less).