Team Atlantic Canada whets Washington's appetite

Nov 5, 2003

The Team Canada is pleased with the results of a reception last night that offered the American capital a taste of Atlantic Canada's renowned cuisine, whetting its appetite for more of the region's agriculture and food exports.

The reception was held as part of a larger Team Canada Atlantic trade mission to Washington, D.C.  Participating in the event from Nova Scotia was Fisherman's Market International Inc. of Halifax.

An estimated 350 Washingtonians, including key food and beverage buyers from the grocery and food service industries, gathered at the Omni-Shoreham Hotel, minutes from the White House, for a food sampling reception billed as A Taste of Atlantic Canada.

The event provided the nine Atlantic Canadian food companies on the mission with two powerful salespeople for their products  chefs Alan Williams and Hans Wicki from the Culinary Institute of Canada in Charlottetown, who created the menu of appetizers and 10 main courses for the showcase.

Ministers Byrne and Vanclief, and Premier Hamm, are confident Atlantic Canada can increase its agriculture and food exports to the mid-Atlantic states.

This annual event is always aimed at representatives of the mid-Atlantic food industry, said the Honourable Gerry Byrne, Minister of State for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. These are the people who make the decisions that will put more of Atlantic Canada's food products on their store shelves and in their restaurants.

I can't think of a more powerful calling card for our food industry in Atlantic Canada than a reception that brings together food and master chefs from the region, Minister Vanclief said.  When you sample these food products first-hand, the quality speaks for itself.  I have no doubt that this trade mission will lead to new food export opportunities in this important market.

The pride of the Nova Scotians who create this exceptional cuisine is evident in every morsel, noted Premier Hamm. Its high quality is only surpassed by the care with which it is prepared and served. All this fantastic taste and texture, plus economic growth opportunities as well a great combination.

Today, representatives of the companies wrap up three days of one-on-one meetings with food brokers and retailers from Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Last year, Atlantic Canada agriculture and food exports to the mid-Atlantic states topped $130 million.

The reception is the latest example of efforts to market Canada as a supplier of high quality food under stringent safety and environmental standards. Maintaining an enhancing this reputation is a key objective of the Agricultural Policy Framework, Canada's long-term strategy for the agriculture and food industry.

The Team Canada Atlantic trade mission was organized by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Industry Canada, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters and the provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island.