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Friday, May 14, 2010

Government of Canada Supports Western Canadian Food Processors Accessing Asia-Pacific Markets

SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN, Food processors based in Western Canada will soon access new markets across Asia-Pacific countries, thanks to an investment from the Government of Canada.

An announcement was made today in Saskatoon by the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification Canada, to support international trade opportunities for western Canadian food processers. The Government of Canada is providing $961,000 to help increase the availability of Western Canadian value-added food product exports in Asia-Pacific markets.

"Western Canadian producers process some of the best food in the world, and today's announcement will help them grow and create jobs by expanding their market opportunities," said the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification.

Saskatchewan Food Processors Association, Inc. (SFPA), as the lead organization in partnership with similar associations in Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia, and with Food Beverage Canada, will direct the trade missions to and from China, Hong Kong, South Korea, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. This is an ideal opportunity to market existing food products to these countries and also develop new value-added food products based on the needs of Asia-Pacific consumers.

"This funding will be instrumental in developing and implementing a multi level strategy for assisting and growing the Western Canadian Food Processing industry in Western Canada," said Darrell Schneider, Chief Operating Officer of the Saskatchewan Food Processors Association, Inc.
This marketing initiative is projected to return approximately $13.5 million in sales and foreign direct investment from Asia-Pacific countries to Western Canada over the next four years. This represents a direct benefit to over 900 food processing companies associated with the SFPA and its partners, their employees and their communities. Many of these member companies are small and medium sized businesses who might otherwise not be able to market their products on this scale.

Western Economic Diversification Canada works with the provinces, industry associations and communities to promote the development and diversification of the western economy, coordinates federal economic activities in the West and represents the interests of western Canadians in national decision making.

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