Premier Stephen McNeil led Nova Scotia companies promoting seafood in the important and growing Asian market at an event in Guangzhou, China today, Sept. 7.
“Asia is a priority market for Nova Scotia seafood export development efforts,” said Premier McNeil. “We are committed to showcasing Nova Scotia seafood as high quality, premium, traceable, sustainable and delicious.
Asia was the third largest export market for Nova Scotia seafood in 2014, accounting for 10 per cent of exports. Seafood exports to the region have increased dramatically over the past 20 years from only $2 million in 1995 to $132 million in 2014.
The Guangzhou promotion, involving five seafood companies and Halifax-based JusNova Agriculture Ltd., included chef demonstrations, appetizers of Nova Scotia seafood and blueberry juice, business meetings, and company presentations to Chinese restaurant purchase managers, importers and distributors.
The event was in advance of the Nova Scotia companies participating in the Seafood Expo Asia in Hong Kong later this month, which features 200 firms from more than 30 countries. Seafood Expo Asia attracts seafood buyers and chefs looking for new suppliers, products and trends.
The Nova Scotia companies participating in both the Guangzhou event and Seafood Expo Asia are Gidney Fisheries Ltd., Centreville, Kings Co., NovaCan Live Seafood Inc., Arichat, Richmond Co., United Trans Ltd. of Halifax, Atlantic Canada Resources Ltd, Dartmouth and Ocean Pride Fisheries Ltd. of Lower Wedgeport, Yarmouth Co.
“Taking part in a premier-led event meant a lot to our company in terms of the level of significance and trust that is automatically bestowed upon us in the eyes of our Asian trading partners,” said Jules LeBlanc, president of Ocean Pride Fisheries Ltd. “Having the premier there generated a higher level of marketing and promotion then we would ordinarily have as a purely business-to-business event.”