Persistence Pays Off for Alberta Company in Japan

  From the May 8, 2017 Issue of Agri-News
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 Alberta’s Siwin Foods Ltd. recently launched four sausage products in Costco Japan. Siwin’s Original, Mozzarella, Cocktail, and Traditional Ukrainian sausages hit the shelves across the country with much customer interest in tasting the new products during in-store sampling demonstrations.

“We are very excited to see Siwin’s products arrive in Japan,” says Mary Beth Takao, senior commercial officer at the Alberta Japan Office. “Siwin showed a lot of commitment in terms of visiting the market independently as well as during larger trade missions in order to achieve this in-road in Japan.”

Success in entering the market also required a willingness to customize products based on market needs.

“Exporting meat products into any foreign country does provide some challenges and requires a processor to be very patient with the processes of working with the governing bodies on the import side,” says Gord DeJong, vice president at Siwin Foods. “One must be open to making required changes in their formulations to accommodate regulations for the product in the particular country. One should expect some surprises as regulations are very different from country to country.”

Japan is Alberta’s third largest destination for agriculture and agri-food products, with exports totaling $1.2 billion in 2016. While it is a complex market, there are supports available to help Alberta companies navigate its intricacies.

DeJong recognized the assistance provided by the Government of Alberta, sharing that “at Siwin Foods we feel very fortunate to have access to the many Alberta International Offices around the world and we are especially grateful for the support that we have received from the Alberta/Japan office as this support has made the launch of our sausage product into Costco Japan possible.”

For information on future initiatives in the Japan market, contact Katie Meredith, trade and relations officer, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry.

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For more information about the content of this document, contact Ken Blackley.
This information published to the web on April 27, 2017.