Okanagan Businesses Look to Europe for Export Opportunities

When considering export opportunities, Okanagan companies often look south or east. While significant opportunities certainly exist in the United States and Asia, the recent trade agreement between Canada and the European Union, combined with economic prosperity and a strong Canadian brand in Europe, make the EU a more important market than ever for Okanagan exporters to consider.

On March 6, Okanagan companies had the opportunity to learn about the recent Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and connect directly with Canadian trade representatives in European markets.

The day’s agenda included an overview of the CETA rules as well as presentations from Trade Commissioners, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada specialists and export program advisors. Andre Cooligan, Ambassador of Canada to Finland and Taylor Hladik from the Canadian High Commission in London, UK, shared specific opportunities for Okanagan products in their respective markets. Attendees curious about dipping their toes in the export market also heard from local company Sun-Rype Products, who were there to share their export success in the US and Asia as well as learn about new opportunities in the EU.

"Sun-Rype has experienced great success in exporting to US and Asian markets. The Canada-Europe Trade Agreement has the potential to open new markets in Europe for our Okanagan-made products. Today’s session helped me further understand the opportunity and make direct connections with trade commissioners in key European markets”
Shane Sondermann, Marketing & Business Development Manager, Sun-Rype Products

Did You Know?

Sun-Rype’s Fruit-to-Go is a top selling fruit snack in China through the Alibaba network!

Participating companies represented a broad cross section of the Okanagan’s diverse economy including aviation, agriculture and viticulture, food processing, advanced technology, cultural industries and manufacturing. Companies had the opportunity to sit down for 1:1 meetings with Trade Commissioners from key European markets and representatives from Agriculture & Agri-food Canada to get their immediate exporting questions answered and develop lasting business connections.

“As a commercial plant biotechnology company located in West Kelowna, I was interested in learning about opportunities to export our products in Europe. The connections I made today with the trade commissioners service and Agriculture and Agri-food Canada will help me navigate the process.” Dr. Ashish Dave, Floramaxx Technologies

Photo from Orchard and Vine, July 1, 2017

As the region’s primary resource for business, the COEDC is dedicated to supporting the growth of local companies through export development assistance. If you are a local company currently exporting your products or services or interested in finding out more, we would love to hear from you.

To learn about the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the opportunities for local small and medium business enterprise, click here.