Get information and data on agrifoods exports and learn about export opportunities for British Columbia foods, including seafood and wine, from Trade and Invest British Columbia.
Food growers, harvesters, and producers in British Columbia have successfully established a market for traditional and innovative food products in North America and Europe. At the same time, we are rapidly increasing exports to growing markets in China, South Korea, and India.
Our agrifoods industry, including seafood, exports $3 billion to 150 countries worldwide. Buyers around the world recognize us for our high-quality food products and strict safety standards. With a strong reputation for quality produce and a strategic location on the west coast of Canada, agrifood producers in British Columbia are in the position to continue profiting in a growing global market.
Agrifood and seafood products from British Columbia are known for their quality, diversity and safety. Tour the beauty of British Columbia and the wide range of available products.
Agrifoods export opportunities exist around the world, and some key markets have the potential for increased purchases from our exporters. In 2014, almost 90 per cent of the province's agrifoods export value went to our top five markets - the United States, China, Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
The U.S. market is well established and is our number one agrifood products market. In 2014, the U.S. received 76 per cent of our agriculture exports, worth $1.5 billion, and 55 per cent of fish product exports, worth $541.4 million. Exporters have an opportunity to build on our strong reputation for quality food products and to grow sales in emerging high-value products.
A new generation of innovative producers is breaking ground, focusing on high-quality, value-added products (e.g., nutraceuticals) and exploring niche products, such as ice wine.
Learn more about British Columbia’s export opportunities in the United States.
Given our strong reputation for high-quality products and food safety regulations, along with Japanese consumers’ interest in western foods, opportunities exist for exporters to develop our presence in the Japanese food service industry, particularly for wine, seafood, and blueberries.
While our agrifood exporters do face certain barriers to market entry in Japan, it is expected that the launch of the Canada-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement
will provide an opportunity to resolve outstanding issues.
Learn more about British Columbia’s export opportunities in Japan.
During the next 10 to 20 years, China is expected to become the world’s largest importer of agricultural and food products. The country’s rapidly expanding middle class presents excellent opportunities for our agrifood producers.
China’s increasing interest in safe and secure agrifoods products has resulted in demand for our products. The Chinese mainland has become the second largest international market for our food products, with 2014 exports of $84.7 million, and an additional $35.6 million exported to Taiwan, excluding seafood. The Chinese mainland is the second-largest market for our seafood, with $179 million exported in 2014. Seafood exports, particularly crab, geoduck clams, hake, and herring, are top Canadian performers. Canadian seafood is known for its food safety and quality and health benefits.
Some products are considered luxury goods and are consumed by the expanding higher-income population of China.
Hong Kong eliminated tariffs on wine in 2008, creating one of the largest wine markets in the world. Our seafood products continue to be a major export commodity to Hong Kong, valued at $31.4 million in 2014.
Learn more about British Columbia’s export opportunities in China.
Agrifood is a developing opportunity for exporters to South Korea. South Korea has a wealthy middle class, many of whom have been educated overseas. These individuals have developed a taste for western-style food products such as cheese and wine that are not ordinarily part of the Korean diet.
Opportunities also exist for exporters to capitalize on the opening of the Canadian beef market to South Korea by promoting the safety of our beef products. There are also opportunities to expand exports of our agrifood products to Korea, including seafood, berries, and wine. Trade negotiations are progressing with South Korea to resolve market issues that include the treatment of organic products and access for fresh and chilled blueberries.
Learn more about British Columbia’s export opportunities in South Korea.
India is a developing opportunity for our agrifood exporters. Specialty products such as smoked salmon and wine are gaining popularity with India’s growing middle class.
Although India is one of the world's major food producers, the country accounts for less than 1.5 per cent of international food trade, suggesting an opportunity for our investors and exporters. For instance, India’s processed food industry is in its infancy, currently representing only two per cent of India’s total food production, and is an ideal niche for our agrifood industry.
Food and grocery is the fastest-growing retail segment in India. A growing number of supermarkets in India creates a growing potential for importing food products.
Exporters can take advantage of growing opportunities as we position British Columbia as a leading, quality source for grains, packaged foods, ingredients, and agrifoods technology. Resolving trade barriers in the agrifoods industry through the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement
(CEPA) negotiations between Canada and India will also strengthen the potential market.
Learn more about British Columbia’s export opportunities in India.
The countries of Southeast Asia offer large markets that are rapidly becoming more affluent and urbanized. The region is home to many world-scale companies and high-end grocery chains that would make excellent potential partners for our exporters.
Other opportunities in food processing, machinery. and equipment exist in several countries, such as Indonesia, where the increasingly affluent population of 240 million is Asia’s largest buyer of wheat.
Thailand imported $3 billion of seafood in 2012 from the EU, US and Japan. Our high quality seafood and shellfish can attract many of these buyers. In Singapore and Malaysia consumers are looking for healthier, sustainable foods, a market in which our agrifoods producers excel.
British Columbia already has cultural and business links in many Southeast Asian countries, this coupled with our strategic location on the Pacific coast means we can supply these growing markets faster and more economically than marketplace competitors.
Learn more about British Columbia's export opportunities in Southeast Asia.
Watch this short video on British Columbia’s Agrifoods advantages.