Canada, China bakery industries boost ties

Updated: 2016-05-05 23:40

By NA LI in Toronto(China Daily Canada)

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Canada, China bakery industries boost ties

Chinese bakery industry delegates and their Canadian counterparts along with guests pose at the Canada China Food Innovation Trade Forum on April 28 at the Ontario Investment and Trade Centre in Toronto. NA LI / CHINA DAILY

More than 16 Chinese bakery-industry companies and their 14 Canadian counterparts discussed food innovation and trade relations between Canada and China recently in Toronto.

"We hope to introduce the Canadian ingredients into the food processing industry in China; it will bring innovation to the industry and help the industry to expand … market share in China," said Jaclyn Zhang, chairwoman of the Canada China Trade Innovation Alliance (CCTIA) on April 28. "Meanwhile, we encourage Chinese agri-food industries to invest and export to Canada."

The seminar and B2B meetings hosted by CCTIA aim to study the baking industry in Ontario and its competitive advantages and discuss food manufacturing in China in terms of retail trends, needs and challenges.

Some of the iconic Canadian agricultural products such as Canadian wheat, blueberries and maple syrup have a good reputation in China. " Our bakery food will be improved if these agri-food products can be adopted into our bakery processing as ingredients," said Han Lei, deputy president of the All -China Bakery Association.

Some of the Chinese delegates also said they would like to export Chinese agri-food products to Canada.

"Food innovation is based on innovative ingredients. I am looking for a way to plant our improved breeds, such as wheat in Canada; we can re-import the wheat as ingredients and introduce them into our 6,000 leading companies," said Liu Shijin, vice-president of China’s Food Safety Assocaition.

Ontario is a world leader in agriculture and food processing, one of the top three jurisdictions in North America. Some 52,000 farms grow more than 200 agricultural commodities. That gives food manufacturers fast access to abundant fresh ingredients — from apples and grain to food-grade soybeans and pork, and more.

More than 65 percent of wheat grown in Ontario is bought by the province’s food manufacturers.

"Peel region has the fastest-growing food processing industry in Ontario," said Caledon Mayor Allan Thompson, who participated in the forum from a town in Peel region. "Caledon has 56 percent of the land range mass in Peel. We have a number of foods processing industries and we have a huge opportunity to grow the market in our area. We hope to collaborate and share with Chinese agricultural investors."

The Canadian premier took part in a business mission to China in 2014, and Minister of Agriculture Jeff Leal and Minister of International Trade Michael Chan visited China last year for a trade mission that focused specifically on agri-food opportunities.

"China is an important market for Ontario agri-food businesses both in terms of exports and imports," said Randy Jackiw, assistant deputy minister of the Economic Development Division at the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. "It is Ontario’s second largest agri-food export market, and we believe there are opportunities to expand trade in Ontario’s agricultural products."