From FCC Express, by Owen Roberts
Three significant agreements worth an estimated $9 million have resulted from Ontario’s recent 10-day agri-food trade mission to China.
The agreements stemmed from the mission, led by provincial ministers Jeff Leal (agriculture, food and rural affairs) and Michael Chan (citizenship, immigration and international trade).
Twenty delegates took part, including University of Guelph president Franco Vaccarino, promoting trade opportunities in Ontario to more than 300 Chinese agri-food companies and government officials.
“This mission represented an important step forward for Ontario’s agriculture and agri-food sector,” says Leal. “It set the stage for future growth, both in terms of increased investment in Ontario and increased exports and trade with China.”
The agreements involve an Ontario maple products supplier and two popular Ontario wineries.
The first agreement, between Futurevic Global Sourcing and China’s Shijiazhuang Junlebao Dairy Company, is a two-year, $2-million program to supply the company with Ontario maple syrup and maple products, including maple butter, taffy, candy, sauces and maple sap drinks.
Pillitteri Estates Winery and Hare Wine Company of China signed a $6-million agreement for more Ontario icewine. The investment from Hare Wine Company will establish a new vineyard and winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
As well, as a result of the mission, Vineland Estates Winery announced a new wine retailing and distribution agreement with its long-term Chinese partner, L’Huillier Wine Company. The agreement will see more than $1 million of the winery’s products sold in China in the coming year.
“Chinese consumers are increasingly aware of the world-class wines made in Ontario,” says Leal. “This demonstrates the significant opportunity for export growth in Ontario’s wine and grape sector.”
Ontario considers China a priority market. It’s one of the province’s key Asian markets, representing Ontario’s second-largest export market for agri-food products.