B.C. Trade & Investment Representative Richie Santosdiaz amplifies sales for B.C. products
Imagine the entire population of Abbotsford, B.C. sampling over 4,000 grocery items in a cozy 246,000 square metre convention hall, and you may begin to get an idea of what it is like to attend the Salon International De L'alimentation (SIAL) 2016
tradeshow which was held October 16-20, 2016 at Paris-Nord Villepinte. One of the most comprehensive and inspiring food exhibitions in the world, SIAL Paris 2016 welcomed approximately 7,000 exhibitors displaying the latest food trends and innovations from 100 countries to over 160,000 food and drink industry buyers.
The B.C. food and beverage sector
is growing steadily, up 7.6% in 2015 and is one of the largest manufacturing sectors in the province, composed of almost 2,500 small, medium, and large-sized firms. B.C. companies are poised to take advantage of the recently signed Canada European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). When CETA comes into force, B.C. stands to benefit significantly from preferred access to the E.U. market. The E.U. is already B.C.’s fourth-largest trading partner and export destination, and this agreement will eliminate tariffs on almost all of B.C.’s key exports and provide access to new opportunities.
How does B.C. stand out and get their portion of global markets at vast trade events like SIAL Paris? As anyone knows it’s the people that make business deals happen and one of our keys to success is our global network of B.C. Trade and Investment Representatives
(TIRs). With offices in major commerce centers including London, Beijing, Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo, Delhi and Manila, B.C. TIRs provide a wealth of local market knowledge and trade contacts. Their time to shine is at trade shows, where they help B.C. companies evaluate opportunities and connect with qualified buyers.
At least a dozen B.C. agrifood
companies were represented at SIAL Paris and supported by B.C.’s London, U.K.-based TIR, Richie Santosdiaz and Ministry of Agriculture (AGRI) staff in the AGRI-hosted B.C.-branded booth within the Canada Pavilion, organized by Agriculture and Agri-food Canada. Funding for this project was provided by the Governments of Canada and British Columbia through Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.
Six companies were represented ‘virtually’ (Hidden Garden Cookies
, Holy Crap Cereal
, Whistler Chocolates
, Ross Chocolates
, Wize Monkey
) which means their products were displayed and promoted by B.C. staff and sales leads relayed back to company reps in B.C. Rattan Bagga, owner of Burnaby B.C.-based New World Foods
and Jiva Organics
, attended the show (pictured here with Richie Santosdiaz, promoting New World organic coconut peanut butter and granolas). Other B.C. company reps walked the trade show floor, including Canadian Dragon Trading
and Love Child Organics
, and two B.C. organizations (Daiya Foods
and BC Blueberry Council
) exhibited separately under the Canadian pavilion. To see more photos check out #CanadaatSIAL
on Twitter - a hashtag Richie Santosdiaz created to track and promote the Canadian pavilion at SIAL Paris.
B.C. companies generated quality interest and leads from major importers and retailers from countries including the U.K., France, Germany, Israel, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, China, Japan, Canada and the USA – to name a few. SIAL Paris “was a very productive and very good show for us” reported Richie. In addition to the busy trade show floor, lots of meetings took place with trade commissioners, key stakeholders and other provinces.
Another key to B.C.’s agrifood success is our new Export Ready Business Catalogue
. The catalogue features a sampling of B.C. producers of fruits and vegetables, seafood, meat, packaged food, natural health products and beverages, all of them ready to sell to international clients. The guide is a great resource for international buyers to connect with B.C.’s export-ready and diverse agrifood and seafood sector.
Contact one of our B.C. Trade and Investment Representatives
to learn more about B.C. agrifood
and see our events page
for upcoming trade shows.