Export Initiatives Soar Overseas

Two years after the BC Agrifood & Seafood Export Program launched, BC companies representing a multitude of sectors are increasing sales and accessing new international markets.

Since the program began in 2013, more than $1.2 million in matched funding has been invested in over 150 projects to help BC’s agriculture, food and seafood sectors increase export sales and expand international market access.

Ethical Bean Coffee, a Vancouver-based Fair Trade Certified and organic coffee roaster, has not only been able to quadruple US sales by attending tradeshows in several states, but has also secured Japan as a new market through their US networking. According to Viren Malik, Ethical Bean’s Chief Operating Officer, the funding is helping to fuel long-term growth for the company. “The export program has contributed to immediate sales and created further opportunities that continue to develop,” explains Malik, adding that their third and current project with IAF has led to a major private label deal that will commence in late 2015.

Vancouver’s Pacific Rim Shellfish is making similar strides overseas. “Thanks to export funding we’ve been able to expand our presence and distribute local-quality products on an international scale,” says Ed Sang, President of Pacific Rim Shellfish. Funding allowed Sang to attend a series of events and meetings in China, as well as conduct a trade mission to Vietnam. In less than a year, the company has seen a ten percent sales increase and is making inroads with Vietnamese trade officials, potentially creating a new market for BC seafood.

Funding through the BC Agrifood & Seafood Export Program is available in 2015/16 to support international market development activities. Visit iafbc.ca for more information or contact us at 250.356.1662 or funding@iafbc.ca.

Funding for the BC Agrifood & Seafood Export Program is provided by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the BC Ministry of Agriculture under Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.

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