/ Group Export Agri-Food  

ALTIOS supported Group Export’s members with validating their potential in the U.S., China and France markets

With ALTIOS by our side, we were able to offer our members great strategic advice and in the field support during the challenging pandemic year and gave them the opportunity to discover new markets.

Martin Lavoie
President and CEO of Group Export Agri-Food
Challenge
  • Group Export Agri-Food (Group Export) is the largest association of agri-food product exporters in Canada. Group Export helps Québec agri-food exporters, who are members of the group, enter markets outside the province and abroad by organising trade shows, buyers’ meetings, and other events. Group Export is thus forming an essential bridge between the public and private sectors and bolstering the presence of Québec products in foreign markets.
  • When the pandemic opposed a lockdown upon the whole world, lasting almost a full year, Group Export needed to find new ways to support its members that were still looking for new opportunities in foreign markets.
  • Because of COVID-19, hosting large in-person shows or traveling abroad was no longer an option. We, therefore, decided to develop a new program to help our members explore potential new markets without having to leave Canada”, says Martin Lavoie, president, and CEO of Group Export. “With ZENiTH, we wanted to create a unique advisory program in which recognized experts would support the companies with their international development strategy.”
  • To provide this international strategy and in the field support, Group Export reached out to ALTIOS. “We chose ALTIOS because a couple of our members had great experiences working with them in the past”, says Lavoie. “Furthermore, we were looking for a partner with a strong local presence in the key markets we wanted to target, which is one of the many features ALTIOS offers.”
Solution
  • Group Export decided to focus on three markets in their ZENiTH program: the U.S., China, and France. “We chose these three because they have a lot to offer to our members in terms of size, of the positivity with which Quebec products are generally welcomed, but also because they’re complex markets that require help from local experts to enter successfully”, Lavoie explains.
  • ALTIOS supported Group Export’s members with validating their potential in these markets, and, in the cases where viability was established, developing a market strategy and connecting these companies with potential, local partners.
  • Having support in the field during the pandemic was a great advantage for most of our members”, says Lavoie. “Even though travel was restricted, they still had the opportunity to explore new markets and establish contact with potential partners, thanks to ALTIOS expertise.”
Result
  • According to Lavoie, the support that ALTIOS offered has put many of the participating Group Export’s members on a path to success. “We have companies that are now selling in the target markets due to their participation in the ZENiTH program, some have established important contacts with which they can build upon and there were even a couple of companies that learned that these markets were not a good fit for their products. This is an important outcome, because they can now focus on other potential opportunities and avoid time and money waste.”
  • Group Export is very pleased with the first edition of the ZENiTH program. “With the help of ALTIOS, we were able to offer our members a great alternative solution during a time that made travel to new markets impossible”, says Lavoie. “We had never provided our members with services that were really tailored to their specific needs and questions before, so it is a big plus for us as a group to be able to offer this type of support.”
  • Even though Group Export’s activities are no longer restricted by the pandemic, Lavoie is convinced the program will have another edition with ALTIOS as a partner. “The local knowledge and network that ALTIOS can offer are a great advantage for any company that wants to expand to a new market.”

Discover more about GEA on: https://www.groupexport.ca/en/

Company Profile

Founded in 1990

Headquarters: Sainte-Julie, Québec, Canada

500 member companies

Target market: France, the U.S. and China

format vertical site internet GEA

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