Nine Aboriginal agri-food exporting companies that are members of the First Peoples Business Association (FPBA) showcased their authentic products at the First Peoples Pavilion of Canada at the International Food, Beverage, Wine, and Spirits exhibition (SIAL) on April 2nd to the 4th 2003, at the Palais des Congres de Montreal.
Building on the great success enjoyed by the Aboriginal businesses that exhibited at the dynamic and colorful First Peoples Pavilion at the first SIAL Montreal in March 2001, the FPBA participated again, bringing together Amerindian and Inuit exporting companies from British Columbia, Nunavut, Ontario, and Quebec.
The First Peoples Pavilion is an international showcase that gives the exhibiting companies the visibility and attention they are seeking.
The companies include Aliments Toka Foods, Bleuets Mistassini Ltee., Avataq Corporation, Kagiwiosa Manomin Inc., Kitikmeot Foods Ltd., Kivalliq Arctic Foods Ltd., Little Miss Chief Gourmet. Products Inc., Nunavik Arctic Foods Inc., and Oska International Inc.
The exhibitors presented a wide range of traditional and contemporary foods, such as Caribou and Muskox meat, Fish such as Arctic char, and Pacific Coho salmon, and herbal teas from the tundra of Nunavik.
There was also organic wild rice, wild vegetables and fruits that are picked and processed into jellies, compotes, condiments, and 100% natural juices.
Their participation to this exhibition and the creation of the First Peoples Pavilion of Canada was made possible by the financial contribution of Industry Canada, through Aboriginal Business Canada, and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada.
Their support for the FPBA’s second appearance at SIAL Montreal helped to promote the development of new business ties among Aboriginal producers, international and domestic buyers and trade commissioners posted abroad.
Visitors to the First Peoples Pavilion had the chance to appreciate fine Amerindian cuisine and the astounding flavours of Designer chef Laurent Tremblay, winner of the prestigious Renaud Cyr Trophy in 2002.
He gave cooking demonstrations twice a day and prepared exclusive recipes based on the products of First Peoples Pavilion exhibitors.
Renowned Algonquin ethnologist and historian Michel Noel will give talks on some of the secrets of First Peoples traditional diet and their cooking and preservation methods.
SIAL Montreal 2003 is the largest food fair in North America. It’s the perfect place for agri-food professionals to come together. It is also an exporting springboard for participating businesses.
Organizers estimate the number of visitors to this year’s exhibit at around 15,000 people. There were also 800 exhibitors from more than 50 countries.
One of the companies present at this year’s exhibition was Kivalliq Arctic Foods. Kivalliq Arctic Foods was incorporated in Oct 1992, and is involved in processing of country foods like caribou, and Arctic Char.
Their products vary from caribou pastrami, to legs of caribou.
Through the course of events, and over the years, the company has grown from employing 4 Inuit employees to 15 full time Inuit staff. They have evolved from a provincial processing plant, to a Federal plant, in 1995, and have attained EEC certification, in 2001, that allows them to export products throughout the world, including Europe.
This company processes more caribou meat then any other company in North America, as well as being able to lay claim that all the meat is cut and processed by the Inuit of Nunavut
According to Brian Schindel, representative of Arctic foods “There is no- where else in the world that you can purchase processed “wild” caribou meat, that was cut and processed in the barren lands of Canada by the Canadian Inuit.”
The contributions made in Rankin Inlet for job creation, include providing full-time jobs on a continual basis, year round.
Seasonal jobs pertaining to the harvest of the caribou are also created by Kivalliq. Economic spin-offs for the community of Coral Harbour are made possible by the purchase of meat from this small town by Kivalliq.
In all, there are 30 to 40 seasonal jobs created by Kivalliq Arctic Foods Ltd.
For more information, contact the numbers below.
Mr. John Hickes
President of Nunavut Development Corp.
Phone: (867) 645-3169
Mr. Brian Schindel
Contact person, media liaison.
Another company who is making large leaps and bounds in Canada is Nunavik Arctic Foods.
Nunavik Arctic Foods is an Inuit owned company and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Makivik Corporation.
The company was established in 1996 to operate the Caribou harvest in the Nunavik region of Quebec.
In order to create employment opportunities in Nunavik, the company concentrated its efforts on the harvesting of Caribou in various locations in the region and established four small plants to handle the meat.
In addition the company operates a mobile Abattoir under the supervision of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
The mobile Abattoir continues to be the most feasible method of harvesting.
The company has over the years established a strong market for Caribou meat in the food service and retail industry in Canada and the United States.
Hotels and restaurants in the food service sector consume as much as 90% of the annual production. Certain products from the Caribou meat are les likely to sell in the food service industry, and the company has spent considerable time and resources developing value-added Caribou products.
The “Nunavik Caribou” brand of Caribou meat based pates have become recognizable throughout Canada and the United States.
For more information, please contact Neil Greig;
Email: n email@example.com
Web Site: www.makivik.org