Many bodies were involved in the process including the BC Ministry of Agriculture, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and other government bodies of Japan.
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Windset Farms has been involved in the process of opening this market for over 15 years, working with the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture and CFIA to set up the necessary steps and procedures.
“The Government of Canada continues to work to create new opportunities for Canadian farmers and agri-food exporters in key markets all over the world," said Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. "I am pleased that producers can start exporting B.C. greenhouse peppers to Japan, because this will maximize the export returns of Canadian farmers and help to grow the country’s middle class."
MAJOR EXPORT POTENTIAL
Exports of B.C. greenhouse peppers to the Japanese market could reach $20 million annually, according to the B.C. Greenhouse Growers’ Association. Japan is a key destination for Canadian agricultural products, and this new market access will allow B.C. greenhouse growers to take advantage of the many opportunities.
The main requirement for importing greenhouse peppers into Japan was regarding Tobacco Blue Mold, a fungus that can affect bell peppers.
"Japan is an important market for Canadian businesses, and I was very pleased to advocate for our exporters during a working visit to Japan in May," said Chrystia Freeland, Minister of International Trade.
"New access for Canadian peppers is a reflection of our government’s strong support for British Columbian farmers, and I look forward to building on this success and furthering our trading relationship with Japan."
In 2015, Canadian exports of fresh peppers (Capsicum annuum) were valued at $330 million, while B.C. exports of fresh peppers totalled $90 million in 2015.
Japanese imports of fresh peppers from all countries were valued at $169 million in 2015.
CURRENT TOMATO EXPORTER
“As a current exporter of tomatoes to Japan, we are honoured and excited to have the opportunity to ship our fresh, greenhouse grown peppers to our customers across the seas,” said John Newell, owner and COO of Windset Farms.
“Our peppers are grown in climate-controlled greenhouses resulting in safe, consistently high-quality vegetables that will help our customers fill demand throughout the year.”
Windset Farms grows a wide variety of peppers across 200 acres in British Columbia. Windset Maestro Sweet Bell Peppers will arrive in Tokyo this Friday (Sept. 30), ready for sale by one of Windset’s existing customers.
And although this year’s Canadian pepper season is coming to a close, this week’s arrivals affirm processes are in place to further build programs for next year and beyond.
ABOUT WINDSET FARMS
Headquartered at their Delta, B.C. facility and with greenhouses in nearby Abbotsford, and in Santa Maria, California and Las Vegas, Nevada, Windset Farms is a family-run business that has become one of the largest growers and marketers of greenhouse produce and recipient of the World’s Best Tomato Grower award.
Windset grows peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, strawberries, eggplant and endive. The company’s facilities combine state-of-the-art technology and old-fashioned attention to detail to ensure optimal growing conditions and sustainable practices.
Visit www.windsetfarms.com for recipes and product information. Also check out www.facebook.com/WindsetFarms and www.twitter.com/WindsetFarms for live updates.