Red meat and dairy products from Britain will take centre stage at a major international food and drink show in Canada this week.
The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) is exhibiting at SIAL Canada alongside Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) and Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) to showcase premium meat and cheese from England, Scotland and Wales.
SIAL is now the only event of its scale in Canada, with almost 1,000 national and international exhibitors from 50 countries, hosting more than 18,000 visitors. The show brings together the retail, foodservice and equipment industries under one roof.
Throughout the three-day event in Montreal, the British meat levy bodies will showcase high quality pork and lamb with cooking demonstrations from chef Robert Pendergast. AHDB Dairy will also be exhibiting premium cheese alongside nine producers from Britain.
AHDB senior export manager Susana Morris said the show provides the perfect opportunity to exhibit British products on a global stage.
“This is an incredibly important market for us,” she added. “Canada is the sixth largest importer of food products. It is vital that we look at new markets and opportunities to ensure that British meat and dairy products are front of mind for importers.”
“Canada is an emerging market for Welsh red meat which has great potential,” said Deanna Jones, export development executive for HCC. “We’re seeing increasing interest in PGI Welsh Lamb in particular, in many parts of the country, from retailers and restaurant suppliers who are looking for high quality meat.
“Attending the SIAL Montreal show in collaboration with AHDB and QMS will allow us to build on connections between Welsh processors, food importers, retailers and foodservice distributors, and continue to grow this market.”
Laurent Vernet, director of strategic engagement with QMS, is attending the show and said that the market in Canada offers significant potential for British meat sales growth in the coming years.
Laurent said: “Canadian consumers have a genuine appetite for quality natural lamb produced with traditional grass fed and extensive methods. SIAL Canada is a fantastic opportunity for us to meet with buyers, reinforce the key messaging and secure trade for our exceptional brands with a specific focus on Scotch Lamb PGI.
“We will also use the opportunity of this trade exhibition in Montreal – known as the food capital of Canada – to showcase our lamb to key Canadian food opinion leaders.”
This week’s visit to SIAL Canada is financed by the £2 million fund of AHDB red meat levies ring-fenced for collaborative projects which is managed by the three GB meat levy bodies – AHDB, HCC and Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).
The ring-fenced fund is an interim arrangement while a long-term solution is sought on the issue of levies being collected at point of slaughter in England, for animals which have been reared in Scotland or Wales.