Exploring New Export Markets

The United Arab Emirates was the sixth largest importer of Canadian agri-food and seafood products in 2011 and is a leading trading and distribution hub for the Middle East and North Africa.

This region’s growth shows no sign of slowing down and that’s good news for agri-food exporters.

At this time last year, BC food and beverages processors gathered in Burnaby to learn more about export opportunities. The event – an Export Essentials Seminar – was organized by the BC Food Processors’ Association in cooperation with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

According to the association’s chair, Dave Eto, these types of seminars are extremely important to BC’s agri-food sector.

“We have great products to offer and we need new opportunities to expand,” says Eto.

The sharing of information went two ways. The seminar itself provided a market overview and in-depth market information. One-on-one meetings between processors and an importer from Dubai generated a lot of buzz, and tours of local retailers and processing facilities helped increase the buyer’s knowledge of the BC market. One company has already started exporting its juices to Dubai as a result.

Eto adds they are planning to offer additional seminars for other markets due to demand from the sector.

Funding: $6,158 through the former federal-provincial Safety Nets framework. (SP193)