The Idaho E. Oregon Onion Committee’s export committee has been a longtime exhibitor at the annual Canadian Produce Marketing Association Convention and Expo, and though this year’s springtime convention and other industry events have been canceled due to COVID-19, trade relationships established over the years are strong.
Idaho-E. Oregon Onion Committee Executive Director Candi Fitch said much of the export committee’s activities are funded through grant monies, “for the past several years the Idaho-E. Oregon Onion export committee has been able to expand its international marketing program through funding it has received through the Specialty Crop Grant Program. The committee evaluates each season which trade missions and trade shows will have the best impact for expanding and building new market share.
The Canadian Produce Marketing Association convention is always included in the Committee’s marketing program, as Canada is the largest export market for the Idaho and Eastern Oregon onion growing region,” she continued. “With the cancellation of the show this year, the committee will reassess its Canadian program for the upcoming marketing season.”
Joe Farmer, chairman of the export committee, added, “Our marketing order’s export committee works on marketing programs within the Canadian market each year to maintain and increase our annual volume into this region. The Canadian market is one of the largest export markets for onions coming from the Treasure Valley, with a significant amount of shipments going to Canada each packing season from our growing region.”
Also weighing in on the significance of the Canadian market was Herb Haun, chairman of the Idaho-E. Oregon Onion Committee’s promotion committee. Haun said many shippers in the Idaho-E. Oregon area “have relationships in Canada going back 40 years. The loyalty and trust of these partnerships have big value.”
Fitch said in late-April, that thus far both the PMA Fresh Summit set for mid-October in Dallas and the Americas Food and Beverage Show set for early-November in Miami were still planned, and the export committee plans to attend. Informational brochures printed in several languages are distributed at the shows, Fitch noted.
Regarding future outbound trade missions, Fitch said, “As soon as international travel is permitted, the committee will consider participating in trade missions.”