This week-long event was organized by the Canada China Trade Innovation Alliance (CCTIA), in partnership with Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) and Ontario Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade; and supported by the Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China in Toronto.  Attendees at this event included members from all three levels of government, professional associations, Canadian companies and representatives from food-related enterprises and associations in China. The event wrapped up in early May and took place at LeParc.

The main purpose of the event was best summarized in the opening remarks by the Chair of CCTIA, Jaclyn Zhang, “The theme of this event is cooperation and innovation…  We are deeply aware of the necessity for cooperation between Canada and China in the agri-food sector and the great potential for agri-food trade.  Through in-depth discussion and idea exchanges, we hope to increase bilateral trade and create employment opportunities for both countries…”

“China is an important market for Ontario agri-food businesses both in terms of exports and imports.  It is Ontario’s second largest agri-food export market, and we believe there are opportunities to expand trade in Ontario’s agricultural products.” said Randy Jackiw, Assistant Deputy Minister, Economic Development at Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.  Canada has ranked first in food safety performance around the world (The Conference Board of Canada, Nov. 20, 2014).  As stated by Bing Xue, the Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Toronto, during the Banquet Gala, “As China’s economy continues to develop; consumers with increasing income will demand high quality and safe food products.  Therefore there will be significant opportunities to work with the food industry in Canada.”

During the event, attendees participated in trade forum, business meetings, networking gala dinner, tours of manufacturing facilities, visits of farm and major retail chains and attended the Bakery Showcase 2016.  Representatives from China have declared this trip a great success, “With this event, we discovered new and innovative ingredients and products from Canada.  The next step would be how to incorporate these new ingredients into our food processing and create new food products for China.  We foresee many opportunities for joint ventures and exports between the two countries.”

After one week of face to face meetings and negotiation, Chinese Enterprises and Canadian Companies have agreed to more than ten intention of purchase and discussed plans for joint ventures in Canada and China.  Moreover, CCTIA has reached a strategic partnership agreement with All-China Bakery Association to help Canadian manufacturers enter the market in China.  Looking ahead, CCTIA is planning to hold the second Canada • China Food Innovation Trade Forum & Show in Guangzhou, China and will be recruiting qualifying Canadian and US companies to attend the event with a proposed date of May 2017.

Many local dignitaries were in attendance, including Councillor Allan Ho (seen in group photo).