A new international market development strategy is the latest item on the menu offering B.C.’s agrifood and seafood products to the world. The strategy aims to build on the record $3.5 billion worth of B.C. products exported in 2015.
The strategy focuses on providing programs and services that support three key areas: market knowledge, generating investment, and building networks, that collectively support success for B.C. companies in the marketplace.
Research has demonstrated that businesses entering new markets need market knowledge to succeed. The strategy emphasizes that by accessing customized market profiles, cost-competitive analysis and advisory services, as well as attending market readiness seminars and workshops, B.C. companies can be better informed and prepared to succeed in attracting new customers in new markets.
The strategy also highlights the value of government investment in programs that fund the development of new products, practices or technology, help B.C. companies prepare for and participate in targeted international marketing, and support an internationally recognized food safety and traceability system.
Export success or failure can depend on the quality and reliability of information and the established contacts on the ground in the new market. The Strategy highlights the value that having B.C. Trade and Investment Representatives in 13 international locations can provide in helping connect B.C. companies with buyers and trade representatives in key markets, as can participating in incoming and outgoing trade missions, and tradeshows and promotional events.
The strategy identifies the U.S., China, Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong as priority markets for B.C. exports, as well as 17 secondary priority markets, and others with long-term growth potential. The strategy includes goals and targets for export growth, the diversification of export markets, the development of export capacity, knowledge and skills, and the opening of new markets for B.C. products.
B.C. food businesses exported more than 600 types of foods to over 150 markets in 2015 with exports reaching a record $3.5 billion. The B.C. government’s Export Ready Business Catalogue is also now available in Chinese, Japanese and Korean and has been distributed through B.C. government trade offices in all three countries. The guide represents B.C.’s diverse agri-food and seafood sector, and includes profiles of about 100 B.C. producers of fruits and vegetables, seafood, meat, packaged food, natural health products and beverage makers, ready to export B.C. products.
The International Market Development Strategy and the Export Ready Business Catalogue are 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.
Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food –
“Our government is proud to support this strategy that encourages export growth and the diversification of markets for B.C. agri-food and seafood products. The strategy will help increase the competitiveness of B.C. companies in the international marketplace and contribute to strengthening the Canadian economy and the middle class.”
Norm Letnick, B.C. Minister of Agriculture –
“The British Columbia government has been working with B.C.’s agrifoods sector to build the market for B.C. products abroad, and we’ve seen results, setting records reaching $3.5 billion in 2015. This strategy will help connect B.C. products with foreign buyers, and with our other efforts at trade shows, trade missions, and trade offices, will continue to bring more dollars and opportunities to B.C. farmers, producers and value-added businesses.”
Teresa Wat, Minister of International Trade and Minister Responsible for Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism –
“British Columbia has earned an international reputation for safe, reliable, top-quality agrifoods and seafood products. The B.C. Agrifood and Seafood International Market Development Strategy builds on this reputation by providing a focused plan to help B.C. companies capitalize on opportunities in key markets around the world, helping them diversify their customer base and grow their operations at home in B.C.”
Lance McGinn, director of sales and marketing, BC Tree Fruits –
“BC Tree Fruits continues to see growth in various global markets for high quality, Okanagan-grown tree fruits like Ambrosia apples, and cherries, and as a Cooperative comprised of over 430 grower families, we appreciate the efforts from the British Columbia government in assisting with promoting these commodities to these markets which result in strong returns to our grower members.”
- B.C.’s top five 2015 agrifood and seafood export markets were U.S. ($2.5 billion), China ($343 million), Japan ($190 million), Hong Kong ($62 million) and South Korea ($54 million).
- The fastest growing of the top 10 export markets in 2015 were South Korea (62% or $21 million), Ukraine (56% or $6 million), China (32% or $84 million), the United Kingdom (26% or $5 million) and the United States (24% or $493 million).
- Of the $3.5 billion, B.C. exported $2.4 billion worth of agrifood products to about 150 markets in 2015, an increase in value of 23% over 2014.
- The top five agrifood exports in 2015 were $294 million in natural health products and food preparations for manufacturing; $218 million in blueberries; $159 million in baked goods and cereal products; $131 million in mushrooms; and $124 million in chocolate and cocoa preparations.
- The remaining $1.1 billion were exports of B.C. seafood products to 79 markets, an increase of 15% in value from 2014.
- The top five seafood export products in 2015 were $411 million in farmed Atlantic salmon; $116 million in crabs; $50 million in shrimp and prawns; $44 million in hake; and $44 million in geoduck clams.
International Market Development Strategy: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/farming-natural-resources-and-industry/agriculture-and-seafood/programs/market-development-and-trade/international_market_development_strategy.pdf
Record 2015 B.C. agrifood exports news release: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2016AGRI0053-001669
B.C. Export-Ready Business Catalogue: http://www.britishcolumbia.ca/agrifood-seafood-export-catalogue
Chinese Translation: http://www.british-columbia.cn/buy/goods-and-services/agrifoods/
Japanese Translation: http://www.britishcolumbia.jp/buy/goods-and-services/agrifoods/
Korean Translation: http://www.britishcolumbia.kr/buy/goods-and-services/agrifoods/
Dave TownsendGovernment Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Agriculture
250 889-5945 (mobile)
Guy GallantDirector of Communications
Office of the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay
Media RelationsAgriculture and Agri-Food Canada
1 866 345-7972
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