"Having a presence at FL shows the world that Canada is open for business"

2018 will mark the second time Canada is to have a sizeable presence at Fruit Logistica (FL). Three provinces are participating: British Columbia (BC), Quebec, and Prince Edward Island, with additional support from the Embassy of Canada in Germany. On September 21st this year, the free trade agreement between Canada and the EU provisionally came into force, which is commonly known as “CETA” (the world’s largest – not including the recent free trade agreement between the EU and Japan). CETA will boost business between the EU and Canada, making the trade show an important place to converge and connect. 

Global show important place for Canada to exhibit
A presence at FL is important for Canada for two reasons, says Richie Santosdiaz, expert in international trade and one of the main organizers and champion, “Fruit Logistica is a very global show, it just happens to be in Germany. It’s a platform to meet European buyers but also other markets (the provinces) continue to sell to. People come to the show from all over the world.” He adds that participants in from Canada are all active exporters, not necessarily mainly to Europe but other parts of the world, such as the USA, the Middle East and Asia, which is a big market for British Columbia’s fresh produce. 

Secondly, he says it’s an eye-opener. “Canadians do know the show but may not realize the value of it. I think moving forward in the future the ideal scenario is that Canada would be one of the largest country pavilions there.” He’s hopeful other Canadians will get on board for 2019, plus the new Free Trade agreement is a great advantage for Canadian exporters shipping to the EU and vice versa. 

Richie Santosdiaz proudly showing the Canada Pavilion sign at FL 2017.

Provinces well known for specializing in certain commodities
At last year’s show, Santosdiaz felt that some people were surprised that Canada in fact has a large fruit and vegetable industry, and that there’s a stereotype that it’s too cold to sustain horticulture but each participating province is a key player in producing some of the world’s top commodities. BC is Canada’s largest producer of highbush blueberries, sweet cherries, raspberries, pears and apricots, and Canada’s second largest producer of cranberries, peaches, strawberries, plums and nectarines, plus 30 different types of vegetables on more than 19,000 acres across the province as well as a vibrant greenhouse industry. Over 88,000 acres of potatoes are grown on PEI each year, making it the largest commercial crop grown on the Island, generating 50% of farm cash receipts in the province. This also makes PEI the largest potato-producing province in Canada. 

Quebec is the world’s most important producer of organic cranberry and wild blueberry in Canada; it accounts for a quarter of Canada’s annual fruit sales. The province is the world’s third largest cranberry producer and a major supplier of wild blueberries and strawberries. Québec is also a Canadian leader in the production of vegetables such as lettuce, celery, radish, dry bulb shallot, green onions, sweet pepper, corn and cauliflower. “I think having a presence at FL shows the world that Canada is definitely open for business, not just in Europe but to the rest of the world as well.” With the changes in Free Trade agreements made by the Canadian Government, Santosdiaz says it’s showing to the world that Canada is taking agriculture seriously and can showcase to the world what it has in terms of fresh produce. 

Fruit Logistica Berlin will be held from February 7-9, 2018.

For more information: 
Richie Santosdiaz 
or Nora Gruetters 
Embassy of Canada in Germany 
Fruit Logistica Canada Pavilion – Hall 23 

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