B.C. food exports keep growing

Catalogue will help B.C's agricultural food exporters reach new markets.

Some B.C. food producers with the B.C. Export-Ready Business Catalogue.

B.C. food businesses sold more products outside of Canada in 2015 than ever before.

Exports reached a record $3.5 billion, and that number is anticipated to grow as the governments of Canada and British Columbia continue efforts to promote high-quality B.C. food overseas.

B.C. companies exported more than 600 types of foods to over 150 markets in 2015. As Canada’s westernmost province, B.C. is perfectly located to send fresh and tasty B.C. agri-food and seafood products to the Asia Pacific region, and consumers there are interested, with China and South Korea both among the fastest growing major markets in 2015.

One way the two governments are working with B.C. companies to build on the almost 20 per cent growth in exports from 2014 is through an Export Ready Business Catalogue.

“The Export-Ready Catalogue unveiled (Sept. 12) builds on the growth by introducing almost 100 B.C. companies that are ready to sell to buyers worldwide,” said B.C.’s Minister of Agriculture Norm Letnick, “and showcases the innovation, entrepreneurship and high quality products made by British Columbians and enjoyed worldwide.”

The catalogue features B.C. producers of fruits and vegetables, seafood, meat, packaged food, natural health products and beverage makers, and all of them are ready to sell.

Each profile in the catalogue includes an introduction to the company or association and their products, their current export markets, and markets they are interested in expanding to. The guide represents B.C.’s diverse agri-food and seafood sector, and includes everything from sea urchins to cereals, and waffles to wine.

Peter Xotta, vice president, planning and operations at Vancouver Fraser Port Authority said: “The Port of Vancouver plays a vital economic role by connecting Canadians with the global marketplace and we work closely with government and industry to meet Canada’s trade objectives. These types of investments to support local businesses and help increase the province’s international exports also reflect the priorities of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority to grow the port in a sustainable manner to effectively facilitate Canada’s increasing trade. ”

The B.C. government has focused on helping the province’s agri-food businesses expand sales through a network of 13 international trade offices, and trade missions have established and fostered relationships with buyers from around the world. This is in addition to the Government of Canada’s trade offices and on-going trade missions around the world. The two governments also deliver a $4.3-million program that provides matching funds to support B.C. industry participation at international tradeshows, promotional events, incoming and outgoing trade missions, and to develop marketing materials for international audiences.

The guides will be available in multiple languages, online and at trade offices and shows.

The Export Ready Business Catalogue was funded through Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative that provides a $3-billion investment over five years in innovation, competitiveness and market development.

Click to view the B.C. Export-Ready Business Catalogue

Click here to see the B.C. Agrifood Sector Snapshot, with production and export statistics for 2015.