Government of Canada Investment Makes Maple Promotion Event in Japan a Sweet Success

OTTAWA, ONTARIO — (Marketwire) — 10/21/10 — Editors note: A photo is included with this press release on Marketwire’s website.

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz congratulated the winners of a unique recipe contest in Japan that featured a delicious Canadian twist. The first-ever event showcased Canadian maple products, which played a leading role in the creation of a range of tasty and creative dishes prepared by professional chefs. The event, called “Maple Discovery – The First New Recipe Contest Using Maple Products,” was held on behalf of the Canadian maple syrup industry and received support through a $2.7 million AgriMarketing Program investment to la Federation des producteurs acericoles du Quebec (FPAQ).

“Congratulations to the winners and thanks to all the chefs who helped make this promotional event such a sweet success,” said Minister Ritz, who met the winners in Japan last week while leading an agricultural trade mission. “This creative promotional event is a delicious example of how this Government is helping to seize new market opportunities for Canada’s world-famous maple products.”

More than 200 participants took part and created a variety of maple-infused dishes. The winners, divided into the categories of Western Cuisine, Chinese Cuisine and Japanese Cuisine, were announced October 2 in Tokyo, Japan. The three grand prize winners received a trip to Quebec in March to learn more about Canadian maple syrup.

“I salute the initiative and creativity of la Federation des producteurs acericoles du Quebec in promoting our superior quality maple syrup to foreign markets,” said Veterans Affairs Minister and Minister of State (Agriculture), Jean-Pierre Blackburn. “I am happy to note that our government’s support of the industry through programs such as AgriMarketing is contributing to such a success.”

“FPAQ investments, the involvement of the Canadian maple industry and the support from the Government of Canada are helping introduce the wide range of maple’s added values,” said Mr. Serge Beaulieu, president of the Federation des producteurs acericoles du Quebec and member of the advisory committee of the Canadian maple industry. “The taste and unique composition of this product are helping to create new flavours in cooking, and this first contest heralds a new era of gastronomic innovation for maple, beyond cultural borders. Lastly, we hope that the image of the Canadian agri-food industry will benefit from this innovative direction.”

Canada accounts for 85 per cent of the world’s maple syrup production, and more than 80 per cent of the maple syrup produced is exported. In 2008, Canadian maple products were valued at $212 million, and the value is expected to increase over the next few years.