After two years of the global pandemic, Flanders' Agricultural Marketing Board (VLAM) again headed to Canada in early April. They took part in the 96th edition of the CPMA Convention and Trade show. Visitors could find this Belgian stand with its 'PURE. Belgian vegetables from the heart of Europe' slogan at le Palais des Congrés convention centre in Montréal.
The VLAM & BelOrta stand.
VLAM was one of the few European stands among the 273 exhibitors. This marketing board's participation was part of the Taste Of Europe America promotional program. This program enjoys European co-financing and is coming to an end this year.
This year, the CPMA and Fruit Logistica in Berlin's dates coincided. That made it challenging for some Belgian companies to divide their forces. The sector, nevertheless, chose to participate in both events. After all, Canada remains an important target country for the Belgian fruit and vegetable sector.
Montréal, in the east of Canada, where the 2022 CPMA was held, is a good export region for the Belgian sector. Together with BelOrta, VLAM drew attention to some Belgian products, like chicory, bell peppers, leeks, and Conference pears.
VLAM treated visitors
VLAM used show cooking to introduce visitors to Belgian specialties, inviting them to taste dishes. These culinary delights included leek soup, chicory, green and yellow peppers, and grilled Brussels sprouts in smoked red bell pepper sauce.
Belgian fresh vegetable exports to Canada are limited. However, these sales volumes were on the rise before the pandemic. In 2019, Belgian vegetable exports to Canada exceeded €2.3 million. Chicory, leeks, celeriac, and Brussels sprouts are the top sellers. Belgian exports of these vegetables represent a considerable share of total EU exports to Canada. For chicory, Belgium even achieves a 96% export share and for beans 80% to 100%. But, Belgium still exports very little fresh fruit.