| ||Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (AF) recently organized two successful Export Readiness Workshops for Alberta agriculture and agri-food companies in Edmonton and Calgary. The workshops offered companies the business tools and information to learn about the export process as well as the risks and opportunities.
“The program was designed to be hands-on and practical, giving attendees the opportunity to apply their learnings into a workbook that would be a draft of their export and international marketing plan,” says Shelly Nguyen, international initiatives officer, AF, Edmonton. “Companies conducted market research specific to their company and products and then applied this knowledge to their plan. Companies left with a tangible work plan to use towards their export goals.”
Twenty-three Alberta industry representatives attended the workshops, with 74 per cent of the participants indicating that they would be using their drafted export plan towards meeting their export objectives.
“Participants rated the workshops as very beneficial for their business”, says Nguyen. “The workshops contributed to increasing industry export interest, export preparedness and helped to increase the number of Alberta small-medium enterprises engaged in exporting and exploring opportunities in new markets. AF is assessing the feedback from attendees to determine when to offer the workshop again.”
In 2016, AF will be organizing a logistics and transportation workshop on freight forwarding, logistics and custom brokerages. In addition, AF is planning a mission for new Alberta exporters where they can participate in an educational program in the Seattle market to explore opportunities in the Pacific Northwest. This mission is being planned for March
Funding for the export readiness workshops was provided through Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.