Two years after the provincial and federal governments launched a program to support agrifood exports, B.C. companies are reporting remarkable success in reaching new international markets.
The BC Agrifood & Seafood Export Program, part of Growing Forward 2, provides matching funds to support industry participation in export market development activities, including at international tradeshows, promotional events, incoming and outgoing trade missions and to develop marketing materials for international audiences.
Some of the success stories featuring British Columbia agrifood and seafood companies include:
- Pacific Rim Shellfish is one of the original tenants of Vancouver’s Granville Island and now sharing its high-quality products with the world. China is B.C.’s second-largest market for fish and seafood products and Pacific Rim Shellfish received $18,712 to showcase their products at the 2014 China Fisheries and Seafood Expo. The funding was also used for a trade mission to Vietnam as the company looks to create a new market for B.C. seafood.
- Ethical Bean was approved for almost $14,309 to attend several trade shows in the United States, including both the Natural Foods Expo and the Fancy Food Show. This increased presence has helped Ethical Bean grow sales in the United States close to fourfold over the past year. Based in Vancouver, the Fair Trade Certified and organic coffee roaster, has also added Japan to its list of export markets.
Growing Forward 2 is a five-year agreement launched in 2013 that provides a $3-billion, federal-provincial-territorial government investment in innovation, competitiveness and market development.
The BC Agrifood & Seafood Export Program is administered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of B.C. Program information and applications are available at: http://iafbc.ca/funding-opportunities/export/
Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz –
“Strengthening British Columbia’s agri-food and seafood industries is important for Canada’s continued economic growth. The federal government is proud to support the agri-food sector through Growing Forward 2 and its programs, which provide truly unique opportunities for growth by allowing more of British Columbia’s safe, high quality products to reach new international markets.”
Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick –
“British Columbia has one of the most diverse agrifoods sectors in Canada, producing more than 200 commodities on the land and 100 from the water. We want to share these high-quality and trusted products with markets around the world, and ensure more sales and jobs for the B.C. agrifoods industry.”
Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC chair Ken Bates –
“We’re proud to deliver funding that is translating into tangible impacts for our agricultural entrepreneurs. The investments made through the BC Agrifood & Seafood Export Program mean more market opportunities and long-term growth for our industry.”
Pacific Rim Shellfish president Ed Sang –
“Funding through the BC Agrifood & Seafood Export Program allowed us to attend more events and develop new international markets.”
Ethical Bean chief operating officer Viren Malik –
“The BC Agrifood & Seafood Export Program has contributed to immediate sales and created further opportunities that continue to develop.”
2013 Export Highlights - B.C. Agrifoods statistics: http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/stats/Export/2013BCAgrifoodsExportHighlights.pdf
For more information on Growing Forward 2 programs in British Columbia, visit: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/topic.page?id=EB8322DE53664C7289317829FA25360E
For more information on Growing Forward 2, visit: http://www.agr.gc.ca/eng/about-us/key-departmental-initiatives/growing-forward-2/?id=1294780620963
A backgrounder with details of agrifood and seafood export projects is available at: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/Backgrounder_agrifood_and_seafood_export_success_stories.pdf