Office in Manila ramps up marketing of Canadian pork in Asia

Office in Manila ramps up marketing of Canadian pork in Asia

Pig farmers in Canada, the Canadian Pork Council (CPC), and Canada Pork are all hoping the new ‘Indo-Pacific Agriculture and Agri-Food Office’ in Manila, Philippines will lead to higher pork export volumes into that global region, this year and beyond.

The office is a joint venture between Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). “This office represents a pivotal moment for Canadian pork producers, providing enhanced access to key markets and facilitating trade relationships,” stated CPC. “With a focus on promoting the excellence and safety of Canadian pork products, the office will serve as a vital resource for industry stakeholders seeking to navigate regulatory frameworks and seize opportunities for growth.”

Export promotion

Pork exports are very important to Canadian pig farmers. Canada is the world’s third largest pork-exporting country and competes fiercely with the US, Brazil and other countries for international market share.

Canada Pork, the primary agency for international marketing and sales, already has a physical presence in Japan and China. In recent years, it has used social media strategies in Asia, and has also had representation at large food shows such as the World Food Expo, Food and Hotel Asia, “China Meat Industry Week” and FHC Shanghai. Canada Pork has also worked with the federal government to arrange in-person meetings between potential buyers and Canadian suppliers.

New office in Manila

CPC chair René Roy said his group has been working with government “for some time” to help get this office launched. “The main step has been accessing long-term funding, and once Agriculture & Agri-food Canada got that commitment, it has been moving forward.” The Philippine capital was chosen as it is centrally located in the region, has a market of 110 million people and already “has great connections to Canada.”

Permanent federal government staff at the office will do activities similar to those of Canada Pork, having meetings with potential customers of Canadian pork products, doing presentations and holding events.

Roy said having Canadian government staff in Manila will “make our conversations with partners easier to advance.” He added that if any problems ever arise, having people in the region is “the key to getting them solved quickly.”

Growth in regional markets

In terms of what growth in regional markets is expected in the next 5 years, and for what specific products (e.g. whole carcasses, certain cuts), Roy provided a general view. He noted that how much exports increase “will be based entirely on how many new buyers we are able to generate. But there are some very attractive, growing markets in the region, and we know Canada’s ability to be a safe, reliable partner – in a region concerned about food security – is a huge asset.”

Treena Hein Correspondent
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