The Foreign Agricultural Service office in Ottawa, through its food and beverage alliance, tasteUS!, recently launched a new website that provides Canadians with information on U.S.-grown food and the more than 40 U.S. cooperators whose products are found in grocery stores across Canada.
"Our tasteUS! website is a great tool for Canadians in helping them understand the agricultural goods imported from the U.S. that are available to them. We're promoting a 'buy regionally' approach that can bring down grocery costs – especially in the winter months when Canadian produce is scarcer," said Scott Reynolds, FAS Minister-Counselor for Agricultural Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa.
Found at www.tasteUS.ca, the website has information on tasteUS! affiliated cooperators, relevant news articles, facts on nutrition and recipes provided by the cooperators. It allows Canadians to educate themselves about the food and beverages imported into Canada from the United States – from fresh fruit like apples, pears and peaches, to vegetables such as tomatoes, to wine, beer and fruit juices – and the producers behind it all. Some of the cooperators represent commodities not grown in Canada, such as papaya and catfish. Access to these types of foods gives Canadians even more options to support their healthy food choices.
"Our cooperators are committed to providing high-quality and high-value products to Canadians," Reynolds said. "We all think about what we're bringing into our homes and it's comforting to know you can depend on your friends to the south for healthy foods at good value."
The site is rounded out with a listing of consumer and trade events, as well as delicious recipes that feature tasteUS! cooperator goods. They are also connected to social media platforms, so users can share their favorites on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
The FAS developed the tasteus.ca to encourage Canadians to not only learn more about U.S. agricultural commodities, but also to highlight the various events taking place, and the cooperator farms – many of which are generational, family-owned businesses.
In addition to focusing on consumers, the tasteUS! website is a destination for the trade. Through the site, commodity brokers and buyers will have the ability to access cooperator websites from one place, but also easily link to the USDA trade lead system or reach out to the FAS team located at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa to find out more about exploring importation options.
Since 2009, U.S. agricultural exports have climbed more than 50% in value, from $96.3 billion in 2009 to the most-recent forecast of $145 billion in 2013, according to the USDA. Overall, these exports support more than 1 million American jobs. Strong agricultural exports can create jobs, boost economic growth and support President Obama's National Export Initiative goal of doubling all U.S. exports by the end of 2014.
Source: USDA blog