BC Blueberry Council Heads to Dubai and Japan

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Gulfood trade show in Dubai and Foodex in Japan represent important opportunities to reach international markets

This spring, the British Columbia Blueberry Council will exhibit at two international trade shows: Gulfood in Dubai and Foodex in Japan. While the Middle East is a newer, emerging market for BC blueberries, Japan is already the industry’s second largest international export market.

“In 2016, British Columbia’s 800 blueberry growers produced 77 million kilograms of blueberries,” said Debbie Etsell, executive director of the BC Blueberry Council. “Canadians consume around half of those berries, but with such a strong production, we’re able to export blueberries in many different formats to international markets around the globe. Blueberries are Canada’s most exported fruit, and we’re looking forward to sharing Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations by bringing BC blueberries to more markets around the globe.”

Held from February 26 – March 2, Gulfood is the largest global industry trade show of its type. Attending for the fourth time, the council will again exhibit as part of the AgriFood Canada pavilion in Sheik Saeed Hall 1, stand S2-E9. The show attracts 95,000 trade-only visitors from 120 different countries, with over 5,000 companies represented over the five-day event. Along with offering an excellent opportunity to connect with buyers from the Gulf Region, the show also attracts trade from India and South East Asia, two other emerging markets for B.C.-grown blueberries. At the booth, BC Blueberry Council representatives will be offering samples of frozen blueberries. “Buyers are genuinely shocked when they try our blueberries and we tell them there’s no added sugar,” says Etsell. “They’re just naturally very sweet!”

Foodex, held March 7 – 10 in Tokyo, attracts influential buyers from across Japan and other Asian markets. As at Gulfood, the council will be exhibiting as part of the AgriFood Canada pavilion in the International Zone, booth 3C02. At the show, representatives of the BCBC will be serving up samples of Blueberry Ginger Pancakes with Maple Syrup – a quintessentially Canadian treat. Foodex attracts 77,000 buyers from food service, distribution, and trading companies, with around 3,320 companies exhibiting at the four-day event. Along with offering an excellent opportunity to connect with buyers from the Japan, the show also attracts trade buyers from other Asian markets.

“At both Gulfood and Foodex, we’re looking forward to seeing some of the familiar faces from past shows, as well as building some new relationships and connecting them with suppliers that can fulfil their requests, whether they’re looking for blueberries in fresh, frozen, dried, powdered, juice or puréed formats.”

The BC Blueberry Council works closely with government trade offices at both a provincial and federal level, making the most of opportunities to take part in trade missions, delegations and shows such as Gulfood and Foodex.

Learn more about the British Columbia Blueberry Council here.