Last week, three local businesses expanded their global presence at Salon International de l’Alimentation (SIAL) – the world’s largest international food innovation and trade exhibition in Paris, France.
The delegation team of Troll Bridge Creek, Dixon’s Distillery, and Wagram Springs, and led by representatives from the economic development offices of the City of Guelph, County of Wellington, University of Guelph and Guelph Chamber of Commerce joined over 7,000 companies from over 100 countries to present their products to retail and food service professionals from around the world.
The trip also offered members of the delegation an opportunity to meet with France’s leading network group – Vitagora – who connects its food industry and research members with manufacturers from around the world.
This trade mission, to explore international business opportunities, was a continuation from last year’s Ontario-European Agri-food Forum, and a direct response to area businesses looking for trade and export opportunities as indicated in both the City of Guelph and County of Wellington’s business retention and expansion surveys.
The Guelph-Wellington region is the largest agri-food and innovation cluster in Ontario with over 500 agricultural producers, agri-food companies, organizations and research institutes in the area.
“With over 500 million consumers, the European market is diverse and full of opportunities for Canadian businesses like ours,” says Keith Harris, Founder and CEO of Troll Bridge Creek. “This was a particularly impactful way for us to develop global opportunities with our maple water product.”
Jeremy Dixon, President of Dixon Distilled Spirits was equally pleased with the outcomes of the mission. “As a fast growing micro-distiller of premium gins, whiskies and vodkas, we met with a number of contacts at SIAL who can help us reach global markets through their distribution networks.”
The Co-founders of Wagram Springs, Kathy and Bert Beilke have been actively growing their customer base in Ontario targeting gourmet stores, distributors and chefs who are embracing premium birch syrup products. “We are thrilled to see that there is significant global opportunity for a product that we have locally produced since 2012 and there was promising interest in our product by companies at the exhibition.”