International Trade and Agriculture: Growing Exports, Jobs and British Columbia

The scope of the project was to be there right
beside the industry and right beside
the marketing groups to help them meet each other. All together, we were looking to expand BC’s success in overseas marketing, to bring them together and to give them information on what each other’s needs are and what each other
could supply and make that
early first connection that’s so important to develop
those relationships. The key partners were Ministry of
International Trade, which brought their expertise across the oceans. The Agriculture Ministry Staff brings their deep expertise in the knowledge of
the sector and what the sector is growing and what the sector is
providing to the marketplace. JULIE MCLACHLAN:
Prior to the Pilot Program, fruit went into Hong Kong, and then from Hong Kong, it went in through
the Grey Channel into the south of China into Guangzhou. That market has been
effectively shut down. Without this protocol, we would not be shipping to our largest trading
The cherry grower industry here is really quite small relative to other commodities, so we can’t do it alone. Having the assistance that we can get into
international markets and get that support that we need helps us hugely. CLIVE SUTHERLAND:
The support we receive from the governments helps us
with our travel to Asia to visit markets and also to exhibit
at trade shows and it allows us to
communicate better with our buyers and their customers. GRANT:
The results of the program have been really fabulous. We’ve managed to have
over 300 companies get involved in talking
to teach other and in the past year, there’s been over
five million dollars worth of new business
being developed. It’s been a really good
success. JULIE:
Our sales into Southeast Asia, as a whole, we’ve more than doubled
our sales into those markets. China has seen the most
significant increase and our Thailand sales have more than doubled
in the last three years as a direct result of the
promotions that we’ve done in conjunction with
the ministries. CHRISTINE:
The Ministry of Agriculture and International Trade
and Agri-Food Canada were all vital partners in our negotiations
in gaining access to the China market. They all work together
very well with the BC cherry industry and we’re really pleased
with the team work that we managed. CLIVE:
As a fruit producer and exporter, partnerships like this are vital and allow the world to know that BC does grow the best fruit in the world. CAPTIONING BY:
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