Paraná wins over Canadian entrepreneurs by participating in North America’s largest food and beverage fair

During the event R$ 1.7 million were made in initial contracts. For the next 12 months it is expected to generate about R$ 20 million in business

By Marcel Salim

Companies and producers from Paraná are putting a new country on their exportation radar: Canada. Executives discovered a range of opportunities at the Sial, North America’s largest food and beverage fair, not only to showcase their products, but also to expand their business and even internationalize themselves worldwide.

The Chamber of Commerce Brazil-Canada (CCBC), in partnership with Invest Paraná, linked to the State Secretariat of Industry, Commerce and Services (Seic), took over 10 Brazilian companies to the fair.

After opportunity mapping and several pre-scheduled meetings, including product presentations and tastings, participating Brazilian companies held more than 50 meetings to close deals totaling R$ 1.7 million in initial contracts, equivalent to US$ 340,000. The expectation for the next 12 months is to generate around R$ 20 million, or US$ 3.9 million in results and established business.

The traditional Brazilian rice, our internationally known açaí, as well as coconut water, orange juice, grape juice, fresh fruit, honey and blends of teas and spices were presented. Among the participating companies were: Empório Timbaúba, Profills, Agro & Trade Salvador, Brazilian Rice, GR Condimentos, Juçaí, COACIPAR, Prat’s, Guacira Alimentos, and Trevisan Alimentos.

For upcoming business rounds, 75% of the companies considered the chances of expanding their business further as “excellent”, using Canada as a gateway to North America. The country is known for its strict quality and the environmental standards. Furthermore, almost 90% of the respondents stated that they would return to Sial, not only to present their products, but also to explore more export opportunities and agreements.

Sial took place in May and was attended by representatives from more than 50 countries, bringing together 20,000 potential Canadian buyers and 1,000 exhibitors from around the world. To put it into perspective, the food and beverage sector alone generated $137.9 billion in Canada in 2022 and is growing at a rate of 5% per year, with imports from several countries.

Rice and açaí on the Canadian plate

Participating in Sial represented a major door opening for rice and açaí producers. To have an idea, in 2022, rice exports from Brazil to Canada totaled US$ 585,136, a growth of 57.6% compared to the previous year. In the case of açaí, the advancement was 26.1%, amounting to US$ 1,105,037. The expectation now is that this expansion will further increase as new agreements are being signed.

This is the case for the São Paulo-based company Guacira Alimentos, which brought rice to Canadian buyers. Bruno Barbaresco, the company’s International Business Manager, states, “Our perception is that the demand for our product from Canada has been steadily growing. In this regard, participating in this type of event becomes fundamental for us to sign new agreements and partnerships”.

According to Paulo de Castro Reis, director of Institutional Relations at CCBC, the negotiations initiated during the mission will gain even more continuity with the opening of an office by the institution in Curitiba and of a commercial representation of Invest Paraná at CCBC’s Brazil Hub in Canada.

“Products from Paraná generate significant interest and have potential in the Canadian market, especially those with quality differentials, origin and certification, which provide more confidence to international partners”, evaluates Castro Reis.