Chilean products highlighted as an attractive alternative for Canadians. In 2013, Chilean agricultural exports to Canada totalled USD203 million, a 14% increase over 2012.
MONTREAL, April 4, 2014 /CNW/ - Two Chilean companies, one producing olive oil and the other giant squid, were responsible for representing the South American country in this year's edition of the SIAL agri-food fair in Montreal (April 2-4). Chile's candidature won Canadians over with its products, which are renowned for their excellent quality and high food safety standards.
The Canadian market promises to be an interesting destination for Chilean exports due to both its size and the purchasing power of its inhabitants. The Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA) effective July 5, 1997, marked a milestone in the history of trade liberalization for Chile as its first treaty with a developed country and the first comprehensive agreement to cover areas of concern beyond goods and services.
"The Canadian consumer can be characterized by a marked interest in healthy living and as favouring natural, organic products that are in line with respect for the environment and fair trade. There is great opportunity for Chilean products in such a context, since they meet high quality standards, making them attractive alternatives for Canadians," states Oscar Arriagada, Trade and Investment Representative for Chile in Montreal.
Chile's high food quality standards were also endorsed by the recently released 2013 Global Food Security Index (developed by The Economist Intelligence Unit), which ranked the country as a Latin American leader. Over the last year, total food exports from Chile to the world reached USD15.234 million. In Canada alone, exports of agricultural products hit the USD203 million mark, an increase of 14% over 2012 figures when shipments climbed to USD179 million. Wine and seafood product exports boasted USD92 million and USD57 million in revenues, respectively.
The Chilean portfolio at SIAL
Olisur, a manufacturer dedicated to the production of olive oil, and Pesquera Villa Alegre, which focuses on the commercialization of the giant squid, are the two Chilean companies that were present at SIAL's 2014 show.
Canada now ranks among the ten countries that consume the most extra virgin olive oil in the world. That's why Olisur, through its Santiago (Premium and Limited Edition) and O-Live & Co. brands, has got its foot in the door at Canadian supermarkets. Next year, it plans to strengthen its commercial presence and gain brand recognition in the country. "Our products are extra virgin olive oils that are 100% Chilean and first cold pressed. The strengths and distinctions of these oils are derived from their excellent quality and extraordinary freshness, very low acidity (0.2%) and their very competitive price," says Claudio Lovazzano, Commercial and Development Assistant at Olisur. "Their quality is backed by more than 25 awards at major international competitions in Italy, USA and Japan, among others, where they have stood out from the crowd by the 95 points they scored in the prestigious 2014 Flos Olei Extra Virgin Olive Oil Guide," he adds.
On its end, Pesquera Villa Alegre is a company that's dedicated to the production of giant squid (a sort of mollusc) and it frequently exports its products to Asia and Europe. It has the added advantage of being PAC certified (a Chilean quality assurance program). "The quality of our giant squid is demonstrated by the number of customers who actively choose our products around the world. It's no wonder we're number one in the processing and export of giant squid," underlines a confident Claudia Salazar from Pesquera Villa Alegre.
The Chilean food industry: a commitment to innovation
Chile is currently developing new products with higher added value and targeting niche markets, including gourmet offerings such as olive oil, seafood delicacies, mineral and flavoured waters, jams, wine jellies, dehydrated berries and native potatoes, some types of honey, premium wines, pisco alcohol and craft brews.
It should also be noted that in addition to their more traditional products, Chilean companies are innovating to add value to their exports, as it is the case for the salmon, pork, poultry, cattle and sheep industries.
In terms of distance, the remoteness of its modern distribution centres is not a limitation for Chile, since the greenhouse gas emissions related to the transport of our products are substantially lower than those emitted for goods produced and sold in Europe. This is mainly because 90% of our exports are leave Chile by sea, which is 3.2 times more energy efficient than the more wasteful land transport favoured in Europe and the United States.
Oscar Arriagada | Commercial Representative
1010 Sherbrooke O, Suite 710 Montreal, QC, H3A-2R7
Tel.: 514-499-9828 | @ProChile_CA
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