Did you know that Canada is the United States’ largest agricultural trading partner, accounting for 16 percent of all U.S. agricultural trade? In 2009, U.S. agricultural exports to Canada were valued at $15.7 billion. Geographical proximity, similar business practices and eating habits make Canada an attractive export market for new-to-export and new-to-market U.S. companies. Some of Canada’s major agricultural imports from the United States include: fresh vegetables, snack foods, fresh fruits, processed fruits and vegetables, fruit juices, red meats, forest products and fish and seafood.
Secretary Vilsack traveled to Canada in August to meet with Canadian trade group leaders as well as Gerry Ritz, the minister of agriculture in Canada. As part of these meetings, he discussed agricultural trade issues that both of our countries face and opportunities for collaboration. The Secretary was honored to serve as the primary spokesperson for U.S. agricultural products during this visit and to highlight their benefits and uses to compliment Canadian cuisine.
Canada is the world’s fourth largest agricultural exporter, and Canada and the United States are each other’s largest export market for agricultural products. Food production in Canada is highly integrated with the United States across a wide array of products that include livestock, fresh produce, and processed products. Free trade agreements, structural changes in U.S. and Canadian food industries, changes in consumer demand, and advances in technology have facilitated this integration over the past few decades.
Canadians travel to the United States more than their foreign counterparts providing them with many opportunities to have a taste of the states. On these travels, it’s no surprise that our neighbors to the north find a variety of U.S. food products and regional flavors to whet their appetite. Many U.S. companies could use these opportunities to expand their customer base and may want to consider exporting to Canada.
To assist U.S. companies in preparing their products and sales force to enter the market, FAS is offering a complimentary Webinar on Tuesday, November 23rd at 1 p.m.-2:00 p.m.(EST) titled The Basics of Exporting to Canada. This forum will provide U.S. companies with a basic overview of the Canadian food sector industry and initial information to make food products compliant to Canadian government standards. If you are unavailable for the live session on November 23rd, the webinar will be archived and accessible until November 2011.
Free registration is available online here.
If you have any questions, contact FAS/Canada at AgToronto@fas.usda.gov.