Five Alberta food companies participated in Alberta Agriculture and Forestry’s (AF) recent trade mission to South Korea. The mission took place May 21 to 24, 2019. It aligned with the Seoul Food and Hotel 2019 trade show, the county’s largest food and beverage forum and one of the largest in the region. Seoul Food typically attracts approximately 50,000 visitors focused exporting goods to South Korea.
“The Alberta exhibitors ranged from new-to-market to established joint ventures pursuing market expansion. Participating companies project sales of $300,000 and made further valuable connections in the market - an important aspect of our diversification efforts,” says Vlad Oujegov, trade and relations officer for Japan and Korea with the International Relations and Marketing Section of AF.
“The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement continues to provide opportunities for Canadian exporters in the agriculture and agri-food spheres. For some of the participants, the mission served as their first trip to the South Korean market and this, in part, has attributed to ongoing tariff reductions.”
“South Korean consumers are well educated and health conscious,” he adds. “Canada and Alberta’s reputation as reliable producers of high quality, healthy and safe food is well deserved and aligns well with Koreans’ preferences and interests. The mission participants from Alberta reported establishing approximately 100 credible sales leads.”
“By collaborating with Alberta’s Korea Office, we were able to provide a market overview for these exhibitors to really gauge the potential for their product and improve their understanding of opportunities, trends, and unique aspects of the Korean market. Working together with the federal government was incredibly valuable for providing business matchmaking services and introductions to potential importers and partners while the companies were on the ground,” says Oujegov.
The next edition of Seoul Food and Hotel takes place May 19 to 22, 2020.
Oujegov also participated in meetings and trade events with Edmonton Economic Development Corporation and Alberta industry in Japan. They supported several Alberta beverage manufacturers establish new business relationships and promoted Canadian beef and pork under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
He says that the CPTPP continues to provide tremendous opportunity for Alberta in Japan. “It is critically important that Alberta companies build long-term relationships with qualified importers and distributors. Tariff reductions benefit companies in both countries and provide the opportunity to solidify and expand our market share in key segments.”
“We continue to benefit from the Canada and Alberta brands in these markets,” Oujegov adds. “These are very exciting times and collaborating with Alberta’s Japan Office helps provide Alberta companies with local support and expertise. We are seeing increasing numbers and volume of Alberta products available to consumers here.”
For more information on Japan and Korea, connect with Vlad Oujegov:
Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)