The Group Export Agri-Food and its partners, National Bank, FCC and Fonds de solidarité FTQ, are pleased to announce the selection of 16 Quebec exporting companies as part of ZENITH, its new personalized export diversification and advisory program. Made possible through the financial participation of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and MAPAQ, as part of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, this program is a new field approach to internationalization tailored to the participating companies.
As a turnkey solution based on a precise analysis approach combined with a proven methodology, the Zenith program is divided into four phases and aims to validate the potential of a company in a given market, while supporting it in the adjustment of its business development strategy. This innovative program allows for the international development of exporting companies, despite the pandemic which reduces the possibilities for meetings and further development abroad.
As the first participants in the cohorts of the ZENITH program, 16 Quebec agri-food companies will be supported in their process by Altios International. Some companies will participate in more than one cohort, bringing to 19 the number of market development projects that will take place.
• Aliments Ouimet – Cordon bleu – Meat spread, gravies, beans, soups and stews
• Appalaches Nature – Maple syrup and products
• Bockale Microbrewery – Alcohol-free microbrewery beers
• Ceresco – Soybean for human consumption and special soybean for tofu and natto
• Emblem Cranberry – Frozen cranberries and other berries
• Fruit d’Or – Organic and conventional products of cranberries, blueberries and cherries
• Galerie au Chocolat – Premium chocolate
• Grandma Emily – Organic and conventional granola cereals and bars, snacks
• Grizzly Smokehouse – Smoked salmon, tartars and smoked salmon products, smoked trout
• Gusta Foods – Seitan sausages, breads and roasts, cheese and vegan spreads
• Intermiel – Honey, mead, maple alcohol, ice cider, brandies
• Morehouse Foods – Specialty mustards and dressings
• Pit Caribou – Microbrewery beers
• Prestige Maple Products – Organic maple syrup and products
• SAP56 Beverages – Maple flavored whiskey liqueur
• Station 22 – Wines, spirits and ready-to-drink beverages
ZENITH selection committee joins together 5 experts, Christian Ostiguy, Associate Vice-President, Agri-food at National Bank, Louis Turcotte, Senior Director, Corporate and Commercial Financing at FCC, Benoit Tétrault, Manager, Investment at the Fonds de solidarité FTQ, Isabelle Combe, managing director Canada at Altios and Martin Lavoie, president and CEO of Group Export, who carried out an exhaustive analysis of the applications received. Their experience and in-depth knowledge of the industry enabled them to analyze applications based on potential benefits for companies in the various targeted markets.
Three Promising Markets Targeted by Companies
For the first year of the program, three particularly promising markets have been identified: the United States, France and China. The selected companies will therefore form the first three cohorts that will be supported under the program. The companies chosen by the selection committee offer products that have the potential to attract buyers from their respective market of interest.
Regarding the United States cohort, ZENITH will take on the American market with companies that offer products that stand out for this market and that will undoubtedly know how to take advantage of free trade between the two countries. Several innovative products or processes attracted the attention of the selection committee and the companies demonstrated a capacity for adaptation that convinced the committee of their potential in this most natural market for Quebec exporters.
In the France cohort, companies aspire to take advantage of the cultural proximity between Quebec and France to tackle the French market. Their differentiated products, which respond to trends and whose popularity continues to grow, will enable them to obtain several openings in this market. Moreover, the attraction of Quebec’s long tradition will not fail to charm our French cousins in a completely natural alliance, reinforced by CETA, which eliminates tariffs on several food products.
Finally, the companies selected for the China cohort offer products with high potential for attracting Chinese buyers who demonstrate a strong interest in added value Quebec foods. The selection committee greatly appreciated the openness shown by companies to adapt their products to suit Chinese consumers’ tastes and market realities when necessary.
Thanks to the ZENITH program, these companies will have the opportunity to be supported by experts in their analysis of the market and their potential in it. Together, they will develop their strategy and its concrete implementation. With the reputation for quality that precedes them and the differentiation of their products, they have all the assets to impress these important pools of consumers.
About Group Export Agri-Food
With over 500 members, Group Export is the largest association of agri-food exporters in Canada. Created in 1990, the Association has, over the years, developed several services and initiated hundreds of activities to facilitate market access outside Quebec and internationally for agri-food exporters in Quebec. A privileged link between exporters and markets, an essential bridge between the public sector and industry, the Association works daily to increase the presence of Quebec products around the world.