Wednesday, 16 January 2019 17:25

Off to Dubai!

Written by Richard Froese - South Peace News

County sending 3 farmers overseas to expand world markets.

Three farmers will promote Big Lakes County at the world’s largest international food trade show to expand markets.

At its regular meeting Jan. 9, council authorized three people attend the 24th annual Gulfood Food and Beverage Trade Exhibition, Feb. 17-21 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Council approved Agricultural Service Board chair Doug Meneice and producers Garrett Zahacy and Tanner Pollack.

The ASB recommended the three in an effort to reach out to prime economic markets.

Each consents to share all information with the ASB and the wider agriculture community.

Council granted up to $6,000 each for expenses for the three.

Alberta Economic Development and Trade announced in July that the UAE is a priority country for Alberta.

“This is a one-in-a-lifetime experience,” South Sunset House – Gilwood Councillor Ann Stewart says.

Big Lakes County Economic Development Authority executive director Lisa Baroldi will also attend.

“Lisa visits the UAE on a regular basis for work and will attend Gulfood every year for the next three to five years,” CAO Jordan Panasiuk says.

“This makes it easier to further build relationships.”

The AUE opportunity supports the work of the ASB and economic development are dong to diversify and find new markets, he adds.

Baroldi met with Alberta Agriculture experts responsible to increase trade and investment between Alberta and the UAE.

“They have identified opportunities that could be big wins for Big Lakes County, demands for quality oats and feed and for opportunities for increased honey and beef exports,” Panasiuk says.

Nearly 100,000 buyers and sellers attend the show.

The province selected the Canada-UAE Business Council [CUBC] to represent Alberta in the UAE and broader region for the next three to five years.

CUBC president Mustafa Sahin has advised the county on economic development.

“The real value to us are Lisa and Mustafa,” Panasiuk says.

“Mustafa can set up meetings for us to diversify agriculture in our region.”

Many producers from the Peace County export products to the Middle East, he notes.

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