Ernie Hardeman, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. (Photo by Kirk Scott)

Busy Ontario trade mission in Japan and South Korea

A busy schedule for Ontario’s Minister Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs as Ernie Hardeman as wrapped up a trade mission in South Korea and Japan.

The Minister was a part of more than 40 events that were part of relationship building and developing trade opportunities.

During the agri-food portion of the trade mission, delegates from Ontario’s pork, beef, grain and other agri-food sectors met with business leaders, government representatives, importers and retailers. Through meetings, site visits and events during the trip, delegates made new connections and identified future opportunities in Seoul, Osaka and Tokyo.

While in South Korea, the Ontario government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Korea Importers Association to develop greater trade opportunities for Ontario produced goods. And in Japan, Ontario Corn Fed Beef and Kinsho Stores signed a collaboration agreement that will increase the availability of Ontario beef products in Japanese grocery stores.

Minister Hardeman jointly led the trade mission with Minister Fedeli, which reinforced the government’s open for business approach that will see increased trade and economic opportunity between Ontario and the two countries.

“This trade mission has raised the profile of Ontario agri-food products in South Korea and Japan,” said Minister Ernie Hardeman. “Ontario businesses and agriculture organizations have made important connections with importers, retailers and government representatives, and they’ve set the stage for future business opportunities that will help our agriculture sector thrive in the future.”

Among those joining provincial officials, Ontario Pork GM Ken Ovington, Crosby Devitt, vice-president of Grain Farmers of Ontario and Tony Milligan, vice-president of Conestoga Meats.

“Ontario Pork was proud to join Minister Hardeman on the 2019 Ontario Trade Mission to South Korea and Japan. Our industry exports approximately 70 per cent of our product and welcomes the opportunity to develop new relationships and strengthen existing partnerships in these important international markets,” said Ken Ovington, General Manager, Ontario Pork.

“As we come to the end of our Trade Mission to South Korea and Japan, I would like to thank the province of Ontario for its support in continuing to build the Canadian brand around the world. This was a great example of government and industry working together to strengthen our business connections and open the door for new possibilities,” said Tony Milligan, Vice President, Conestoga Meats.