The chief counsellor of the Economic and Commercial Office of Spain in Toronto, María Gorriti, told Efe that "the results achieved in 2017 are very positive, with growth exceeding 38% and much higher sales between January and September than those obtained in the whole of 2013, for example."
Both Gorriti and Spanish producers and Canadian importers consulted stress that the growth of agro-food exports in Canada is due to the high quality of Spanish products, especially in the case of fruit.
Juan José Bas, manager of naranjasyfrutas.com, which exports Spanish citrus to Canada, has been selling fruit to Canada for five years and has been living in the United States with his family for the past two years.
"The rising popularity of Spanish imports in this market is due mainly to the quality of the products coming from Spain," he said. "This market absorbs a lot of fruit that comes from many countries, including Moroccan clementines and oranges from the United States, but it is true that people are becoming aware of the quality of Spanish products and are rewarding this quality with consumption," he added.
In 2013 and 2014, California saw the peak of a historic drought that devastated its powerful agricultural sector, especially in the case of fruit, which caused an increase in the price of Californian products, which were supplied to Canada. "The Spanish producers took advantage of this and have managed to stay their ground," explained Gorriti.
"The advantage of buying fruit from Spain is the reputation of the supplier. Everyone knows that Spain has high quality fruits; that it supplies the world with fantastic citrus fruits and all kinds of products," explained Philippe Sommer, sales manager at Frusol, a company that imports Spanish fruits to the Canadian market.
Bas explains that "I always tell the producers we work with that this is a market that truly appreciates quality and which can be conquered with a good presentation and a good brand. It is not a market for second class products," he said.