Expanding International Markets for B.C.’s Seafood Sector

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By Milthon Lujan

Courtenay, Canada.- The Government of Canada is committed to helping British Columbia’s seafood sector grow their businesses, expand and access new markets at home and abroad. Budget 2017 sets an ambitious target to grow Canada’s agri-food exports to at least $75 billion annually by 2025. This is all part of the Government’s plan to create good jobs and grow the middle class.

Terry Beech, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and Member of Parliament for Burnaby North-Seymour on behalf of Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lawrence MacAulay, announced today up to $764,754 in funding to help expand and access new markets for B.C.’s seafood sector.

The announcement coincides with the start of the BC Seafood Expo, an annual event which showcases the Pacific Northwest Seafood Industry. The event also provides a showcase of the industry to domestic and international buyers.

This includes $450,000 in support to the Canadian Pacific Kazunoko Association (CPKA) to promote B.C.’s herring roe products in China and expand the Japanese market; $74,975 to the Pacific Sea Cucumber Harvesters Association (PSCHA) to promote and expand markets in Asia; and $152,563 to the Pacific Urchin Harvester’s Association (PUHA) to support their efforts to brand and promote products in Asia, the European Union and the United States. The funding provided will help these organizations participate in trade shows and missions, conduct market research, and develop marketing products.

The Parliamentary Secretary also announced $87,216 in support to four small- and medium-sized seafood businesses to help them expand and tap into new domestic and international markets.

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“People around the world trust and want our world-class B.C. seafood products – that’s why our government has a plan to support our exporters so that they can go out and seize those international opportunities.”
– Terry Beech, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and Member of Parliament for Burnaby North-Seymour

“Until recently, Japan has been our only international market for herring roe. AgriMarketing funding has helped us begin to develop a market in China. In both markets, we work with our customers throughout the value chain to reach consumers to build a preference for premium priced roe.”
– Christina Burridge, Secretary-Treasurer, Canadian Pacific Kazunoko Association

“Thanks to funding from the AgriMarketing Program and the on-the-ground advice provided by Trade Commissioners, we have expanded our horizons and effectively gotten our message out about the products we have to offer.”
– Thomas Liptrot, President, Pacific Sea Cucumbers Harvesters Association

“We are grateful for support from the AgriMarketing program, which has helped us exhibit at prestigious seafood shows in Asia, Europe and North America. We are building new markets for high quality BC seafood and a new reputation of trust in the dedicated people working in the industry.”
– Mike Featherstone, President, Pacific Urchin Harvesters Association

Quick Facts

– Fish and seafood are among Canada’s largest exports of food products, exporting $6.6 billion in 2016.

– These investments are made through Growing Forward 2’s AgriMarketing program, a five-year, $341-million initiative to help the agriculture industry create and maintain access to markets and take advantage of market opportunities.

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Source: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

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