Robert Fernandez, Director Economic Diversification in Parkland County, writes on the business opportunities that await China-based F&B companies in Canada.
As Chinese food and beverage companies look to reshape their logistics operating model to increase effectiveness, efficiency and resilience in a post-COVID world they should explore Canada’s communities, specifically Parkland County. Canada also gives investors preferential market access through 14 trade agreements to 51 countries with nearly 1.5 billion consumers and a combined GDP of US$49.3 trillion.
Agri-food history of China and Canada
As of 2018, Canada had a market share of 5.7% of the Chinese agri-food and seafood market. Canada was the 6th largest supplier of fresh/chilled beef and veal to China in 2018, with Alberta included in the top supplying Canadian provinces to China. 2018 was also the year that Canada was the largest supplier of Canary seeds, canola products, maple products, oats and more, to China.
Investment opportunities in Alberta, Canada
The Canadian Province of Alberta is a prime location for Chinese food and beverage companies where they'll find a business climate conducive for agri-food, logistics and transportation operations. As warmer global temperatures continue to open up millions of underutilized acres to be plowed, the Canadian prairies will offer Chinese Food and Beverage companies access not only to rich resources and suppliers of proteins, grains and vegetables but also access to North American consumers. In fact, Southern Alberta farmers are hauling in one of the best harvests in recent memory this fall; on September 30, 2020, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced that commodity companies, rail companies and farm groups are all indicating that this year’s harvest has the potential to be exceptional.
Agriculture represents the largest use of land in this prairie Province, with roughly 1.7 million acres of farms covering 80 percent of the land. Conditions in the region are well-suited for grains, oilseeds, pulses, cannabis, hemp, and livestock production. In 2016, Alberta exported approximately $10 billion in agri-food products. 50 percent of the seed potatoes grown on the 10,000 seed potato acres in Alberta are exported, with the majority of exports earmarked for the USA and other international markets. The Province is one of the few locations in the world that has never experienced a region-wide crop failure. Canada was the 6th largest supplier of fresh/chilled beef and veal to China in 2018, with Alberta included in the top supplying Canadian provinces to China. 2018 was also the year that Canada was the largest supplier of Canary seeds, canola products, maple products, oats and more, to China. Specifically, areas of opportunity for Chinese F&B companies include:
· Pork - As meat shipments resumed late last year, China is currently purchasing record amounts of Canadian pork.
· Wheat - China bought 1.5 million tons of wheat from Canada from August 2018 through April 2019
Alberta also offers logistical advantages, being strategically located on the CANAMEX trade and transport corridor. Thanks to its existing logistics infrastructure which includes rail, intermodal, Pacific-coast port access, 3 Airports (Calgary International Airport, Edmonton International Airport and Villeneuve) that offer in the case of EIA 24/7 operations in the North with very competitive jet fuel pricing - Alberta is ideally suited for Chinese corporate expansions. A flight from Edmonton International Airport to Beijing takes about 14 hours.
Golf lovers will be happy to learn that the Edmonton Metropolitan Region has the most golf courses in Canada per capita and its proximity to the Canadian Rockies with its amazing hiking trails and ski slopes offers an amazing quality of life to its residents.
Canada is known for its progressive federal immigration and welcoming investment policies and offers fast track programs for Asians seeking to come to Canada as foreign workers and/or students. The Business Express Program (BEP) prioritizes the processing of visa applications for qualified businesses and their employees and the Student Partners Program (SPP) assists in expediting the student visa process and delivering higher approval rates.
Why Parkland County?
The community of Parkland County, located 20 miles west of the City of Edmonton, Alberta, considered part of the Edmonton Metropolitan Region, is actively recruiting Chinese Food and Beverage companies. The region is already home to numerous food and beverage companies thanks to its strategic location, exceptional infrastructure and easy access to agricultural resources. These include:
· Champion Pet Foods established in January 2020 in Parkland County a 421,000 square foot facility that employs about 200 people. Referred to internally as the NorthStar Kitchen, the operation features three dry food production lines (Acana and Orijen dog and cat food) as well as a distribution warehouse and logistics center. Parkland County offers easy access to rich resources and suppliers of proteins, grains and vegetables found in the Prairies.
· Cargill has a hamburger meat patty plant located in Spruce Grove that produces 3 million hamburger patties a day for global customers including McDonald's Canada. They also produce 1500 tons a day of canola oil and 2000 tons of canola meal for animal feed out of their Camrose facility located 45 minutes outside of Edmonton.
· Whole Leaf established 11 acres of greenhouses in Coledale, AL that produces 40-60,000 heads of lettuce (6 days a week) supplies all of Wendy’s 300 Canadian chain restaurants.
· For nearly a decade, Canyon Creek has been creating delicious foods for grocery retailers, restaurant chains, and other foodservice institutions throughout Canada. It operates in both the food service and retail channels and manufactures all products out a plant located in Edmonton.
· Started with 600 colonies in 1979, TPLR Honey Farms, located in Parkland County, has since expanded to 3,300 colonies for honey production. Honey produced is sold across Canada and exported to North America and Asia.
As the world continues to be further interconnected, the need for new food sources and supply chains will continue to grow. The Province of Alberta, and more specifically, Parkland County, offers Chinese Food and Beverage companies all the ingredients for business success and an opportunity to expand the culinary palette of North American consumers.
Copyright (c) Ringier Trade.com. Copyright (c) Ringier Trade Media Ltd. (c) 2020.
All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part in any form or medium without express written permission is not allowed.
Ringier Trade .com (c) Ringier Trade Media Ltd., accept no responsibility or liability for any information provided by any third party on this website.