‘Latvian Goods’ campaign launched amidst embargo uncertainty

The Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LTRK), together with ad agency DDB Latvija and several sector associations launched its “Buy local – Latvian goods” campaign Monday, urging residents to support the national economy by buying products made in Latvia.

At a press conference to mark the unveiling of the campaign logo and tagline “Get what’s good for yourself and for Latvia,” the authors of the idea promised the campaign would endure with its goal to tell how today’s daily choices can improve our own and our nation’s daily life tomorrow. The campaign will feature products made in Latvia labeled with the logo “Latvian goods”.

LTRK head Jānis Endziņš said that “the goal of the campaign is to change the consumption habits of Latvia’s residents – to choose local goods and products.”

DDB Latvija chief Andris Rubīns explained that the campaign was worked out in a matter of days and goes beyond just supporting the producers affected by Russia’s countervailing embargo on food imports from the EU and western states.

The campaign website invites participants to join, so far by providing posters and flyers for distribution and integration into product marketing materials.

As for the honor system in place for differentiating products actually made in Latvia from those that are not, Endziņš said that would be “bad faith practice with the appropriate consequences."

Board chairman Indulis Jansons of the Agricultural Cooperatives Association remarked that the campaign will prove just how well Latvia’s distributors, producers and retailers actually can cooperate. “If so, this campaign will remain a basis for strengthening the national economy,” he said.

Food Retailers’ Association executive director Noris Krūzītis pointed out that food merchants are also looking at the campaign as having broader significance beyond the current trade troubles with Russia. “This is a way to talk about Latvia’s welfare,” he said.

The 100-store Elvi supermarket chain has already come on board the campaign, said company commercial director Laila Vārtukapteine.

Among particpants listed in the campaign are the farmers’ NGO "Zemnieku saeima", the Federation of Food Producers, the Markets Association, the Employers’ Confederation, commercial bank "Citadele", retailers "Rimi", "Maxima", "Narvesen", "Elvi", "Lotos Pharma", "Sakret", "Durbes veltes", "Milda-KM", "Tritone Studio", "Latvijas produkts", national information agency LETA, web portals "Draugiem.lv", "Inbox.lv", "Delfi" and more.

LETA reported Monday that dissenting from the campaign was Latvian Retailers’ Association (LTA) head Henriks Danusēvičs, who compared it to ‘Crimean annexation tactics’, where state support is sought to bolster an organization’s membership ranks. He told business portal Nozare.lv that the LTRK tried to bypass the LTA and discuss directly with its individual members, contrary to its mission statement claims to be a unified action by various stakeholders.

Danusēvičs recalled his organization’s own campaign launched two years ago called “Support your own” with its separate “buy Latvian goods” exhibits and promotional stands.

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