A group of women food exporters from across Canada participated in the March OWIT-Toronto Women’s Virtual Business Delegation to Mexico, focusing on the agri-food sector. This represented the third trade mission of its kind organized by OWIT Toronto. With the geographical advantage and the Free Trade Agreements that have eliminated duties on almost all agri-food products, Mexico is a natural market for Canadian exporters.
Delegates had a total of more than 30 pre-arranged virtual business-to-business meetings with qualified buyers or partners. Feedback from delegates at the debriefing session was encouraging as they asked OWIT-Toronto to continue promoting and running business delegations; delegates found the virtual B2B meetings very productive and a delegate plan to follow the same format and template to reach out other prospect clients from the European market.
Other food exporters seeking to diversify their markets beyond Canada joined the March 22 complimentary opening session of the Business Delegation. The Canadian Ambassador to Mexico, Graeme C. Clark, and the Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affair, Lisa Thompson, shared welcoming remarks. The event included two panels - one featuring Catherine Beach of EDC and Brooke Gordon of BDC, who highlighted resources to help women-owned businesses export to Mexico; and the other featuring Nydia Orue, General Director, Cluster Agroalimentario de Nuevo León, Agroalim, and Rosa Maria Suarez, Import Manager at La Comer (one of the largest supermarket chains in Mexico City), who shared what buyers in Mexico expect from suppliers. Among their tips:
- Having good communication is always key in everything. Stay in touch to understand the buyer’s needs and keep the buyer informed about new items in your catalogue.
- Meet potential distributors and business partners through trade local associations
Many thanks to our Business Delegation partners – Global Affairs Canada, through the Embassy in Mexico City , Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), EDC, BDC, Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub, BMO, City of Toronto and Bennett Jones.
And a big shout out Board member Alma Farias for spearheading this 2022 Business Delegation, along with her committee, Susan Baka, Selda Erkilic and Helen Hemmingsen. Watch the webinar recording.