News Tag: вільна торгівля з Канадою
What impressions did Ukrainian manufacturers make on Canadian buyers and what are the prospects of Ukrainian products in the Canadian market?

The CUTIS project has organized a visit to Ukraine for Canadian distributors interested in finding reliable food and beverage suppliers for the Canadian market.

During the 10 days of the trade mission that Canadian business representatives spent in Ukraine, they visited Kyiv, Lviv, Kharkiv, Dnipro and Zaporozhzhia and met with representatives of more than 40 companies.

Yuriy Baranov, founder of CAALCO distributors corp., distributor of Yummy Market (Canada)

My company has been involved in the import of alcoholic beverages for the Canadian market for over 20 years, and at the moment I am considering expanding the import line with foodstuffs. I have a good track record of working with such leading Ukrainian alcohol companies as Bayadera group (TM “Hlibny Dar”), continue to negotiate with Alef Vinal (vodka Green Day, brandy Jean-Jack).

During the mission, I also established business relationships with such well-known companies as Petrus, Staritsky&Levitsky. A real discovery for me was the company “Ukrainian Medovary” from Drohobych, which restored almost lost recipes of Ukrainian natural beverages based on honey. A nice addition to the CUTIS program was a meeting with the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce management.

I personally visited 12 companies and had about 20 meetings with representatives of Ukrainian business. Most of them amazed me with the high production culture, quality of products, flavour profiles, professionalism of their teams. It feels like these companies have a clear export strategy, a creative team and are result-oriented.

I would like to emphasize the companies such as Beehive, Malby (TM Millenium), Klion group (TM Veladis), Lviv handmade factory, Bob snail, Bayadera, Bester. These companies have every reason to be optimistic about the future of Ukrainian exports to the global markets.

I am often asked what the main prerequisite for the success of a product in the Canadian market is. The answer is simple and complex at the same time: the product should be interesting to Canadian distributors and buyers.

If a Ukrainian company plans to target only the ethnic market and the Ukrainian diaspora in Canada this kind of expansion is 99% doomed. Indeed, the Ukrainian diaspora has more than 1.6 million people but the vast majority of them have no idea what modern Ukraine is and what kind of products it produces because their ancestors came to Canada before the 1917 revolution. True, they are loyal to everything Ukrainian, but they have grown up in Canada and usually consume local Canadian products they are used to.

I think it is optimal for a Ukrainian company to initially test their product in the ethnic market, to understand how interesting it is to Canadian consumers. Only if the product is in demand should they try to approach Canadian grocery chains and address such issues as customizing the name or developing the label to meet Canadian requirements (labels in Canada must contain information in 2 official languages – English and French). It’s worth starting with European-oriented networks such as Yummy Market or Starsky.

Michael Prudkov, Vice President of Crussimpex, a Canadian distributor company   

Crussimpex is a food importer that cooperates mainly with small manufacturers and distributes throughout Canada.

Crussimpex already has experience working with Ukrainian companies, and we want to expand the mix of Ukrainian products in the Canadian market.

During the mission, I met with representatives of about 20 Ukrainian companies. The overall impression is positive. There are many decent manufacturers on the market.

In today’s world, however, having a good product is not enough. You need to be ready to invest in entering foreign markets.

I got the impression that not all Ukrainian companies understand how to promote and sell their goods abroad. Exports require extra costs: into skilled personnel, interesting packaging, promotion, marketing, etc. No way without that. In addition, the entry process takes more than one day – it is unlikely to send a huge batch for the first time. One needs to move step by step and heed the importer’s advice.

You also need to understand the specifics of each region. Canadian consumers, unlike American consumers, are very conservative. It is difficult to get them to buy a product they are not used to. Although geographically Canada is a huge country, the size of the market is small, and it is by no means comparable to the US.

I would also advise Ukrainian manufacturers to take a more prudent approach to the issue of pricing. On average, the wholesale price in the Canadian market is three times higher than the wholesale price in Ukraine. Talking about the retail price, the difference is 4-5 times. This includes logistics, distribution costs, retail margins, exchange rate risks, and more.

Not all Ukrainian manufacturers understand this math. They hear the word Canada and immediately inflate the selling price. Canadian consumers are quite sensitive to the price. With overstated prices, Ukrainian goods simply will not find a buyer in Canada.

What Ukrainian foodstuffs have the best chance on the Canadian market? These are definitely not meat or dairy products because they are subject to import quotas and the certification process is quite complicated.

Confectionery products have very good chances and the leaders of the Ukrainian market (AVK, Roshen, Biscuit-Chocolate) are already presented in the market. I think other Ukrainian companies can become a name and compete with Belarusian, Moldovan or Russian manufacturers.

Grocery manufacturers have a good chance: I want to try putting Ukrainian fishery products on the Canadian market.

In general, the chances of Ukrainian companies in the Canadian market are not bad. I think that the representation of Ukrainian goods will only grow. Specifically, if there is support from such programs as CUTIS and from the State.

Emma Turos, Executive Director of the Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine

When entering a new market, not only Canadian, a Ukrainian manufacturer should listen to local importers who understand specifics of their own market much better. Sometimes they ask about five steps to success. The answer is simple – 5 Ps (product, price, promotion, place and people) that you read about in any guidebook. I would add another “P” – practice. Practice export activities on a daily basis, and everything will get clear. Understanding the process of entering a market and the sense of time and partner are very important qualities of an entrepreneur.

In most cases, it will be difficult to sell the product as it is marketed in Ukraine. In the food industry, you need to consider everything – product appearance, taste, preservation of tastiness and appearance over a long period of time (only transportation to Canada takes almost two months), packaging, labeling, product and brand name. The product name must be clear to the buyer, it must be international. The exception is ethnic markets. In this case, the name should meet expectations as much as possible. Simply speaking, if the label indicates that these are “Artek” waffles, then they should comply as much as possible with traditional taste and appearance. Buyers buy such products in order to experience the “taste of childhood”. By the way, Ukraine clearly under performs in this area. For example, there are so-called “Kyiv” cakes on the Canadian market. However, they are made in Moldova. There is also a general rule: if a brand is stronger than a product, the brand must be promoted. If the product is stronger than the brand, then the product is promoted. One may also operate here under private label. Ukraine has very few globally known brands, so one should be flexible about the product name and brand. We have cases where both the product and the name were changed to more universal ones.

Pricing is another sensitive issue. Ukrainian manufacturers must clearly understand their competitors in each market segment. In the ethnic market, for example, (gingerbread, cakes, bagels, candies, etc.) we compete in price and quality with Moldova and Belarus.

Two heads are better than one and if a company has a clear strategy and resources I would not recommend saving on expert services. Without knowing the market requirements and the preferences of consumers in other countries, mistakes can be made that they will cost a lot. Trying to re-enter a new market afterwards is very difficult, since the Canadian market, for example, is not that big, and the reputation will be difficult to restore.

We live in a global world of change where you have to constantly fight for your place but do that diplomatically and with a polite smile. I am deeply convinced that Ukraine still needs to take a worthy place in the global trade not only with resources but also with high value-added products.

How to export confectionery to Canada

The Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce and the Canada-Ukraine Trade and Investment Support Project (CUTIS) held a practical workshop on confectionery exports to Canada.

During the event, participants had the opportunity to learn more about the main trends in the Canadian confectionery market. Besides, guests had a chance to communicate with specially invited Canadian distributors and a Canadian industry expert.

Emma Turos, executive director of the Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine, noted that there are no universal recipes for entering the Canadian market, so each company should find its way, taking into consideration its own advantages and analyzing the specifics of the Canadian market. Download the presentation here

‘Canada is a migrant-friendly country with a strong presence of Eastern Europe including Ukrainians. This creates excellent conditions for promoting Ukrainian products. However, the Canadian market is significantly different from the Ukrainian and EU markets. If a Ukrainian company is successful in Europe, it doesn’t mean that its products will automatically be in high demand in Canada,’ Bertrand Walle, TFO Canada Associate, said. The channels of product promotion differ considerably as well. For example, there is no such large concentration of hypermarkets in Canada as in Europe. Instead, Canadians prefer small niche stores (health and organic products, ethnic food). To learn more about producer opportunities for the Ukrainian confectionery companies to export products to Canada please follow the link.

Canadian distributor Michael Prudkov, Crussimpex (Canada), advised Ukrainian companies to cooperate and form large product batches. In this way, each of the companies will be able to minimize logistics costs and offer Canadian buyers a wider range of products.

Yuriy Baranov, Canadian Yummy Market distributor, stressed the importance of correctly labeling products. Canada is a bilingual country, so the label must contain the product information in two languages – English and French. In the low and mid-price segment, a brand is not so important for a Canadian consumer. Therefore, it makes sense for Ukrainian companies to enter the market with a private label.

Participants of the event could learn specific requirements for food packaging and labeling from the presentation of Oleksandra Brovko, CUTIS senior trade and investment policy expert, which can be downloaded via the link (in Ukrainian).

During the event, a sectoral guide for confectionery export to Canada was presented.

Maxim Boroda, CUTIS senior trade and investment analysis expert, explained main trends and consumer preferences in the Canadian confectionery market. Interestingly, three-quarters of the Canadian confectionery market (3.4 billion CAD) is chocolate products. The average Canadian consumer spent 123 CAD on confectionery and sweets in 2018.

You can find out more interesting information about the Canadian confectionery market by downloading the guide for free via the link (in Ukrainian)

Zoia Pavlenko, CUTIS environmental expert, drew the attention of the audience to the prospects for organic products in Canada. The Canadian organic market is the fifth largest in the world with sales of more than 3 billion euros. The Canadian consumer eagers to buy organic chocolate and candy at a reasonable price. COR certification is a prerequisite for organic exports to Canada. Ukrainian products can’t be sold in the Canadian market with European organic certificates.

It is also important for Ukrainian companies to be mindful of gender-neutral messaging in promoting products in the Canadian market. Booklets or advertising materials with the female body objectification definitely don’t help Ukrainian products find new connoisseurs in Canada. Examples of inappropriate advertising for the Canadian market can be downloaded via the link (in Ukrainian).

Interesting facts about free trade agreements with Canada

There are 14 free trade agreements currently in force in Canada involving 51 countries. According to Statistics Canada, at present Canada’s trade with these countries accounted for 78.5% of Canada’s IMPORTS and 89.7% of Canada’s EXPORTS in 2018.

The objective of free trade agreements is to increase trade with partner countries by reducing tariff barriers and opening access to foreign markets.

Three biggest free trade agreements:

North American Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA. Canada’s total trade with the member countries of NAFTA was valued at $788 billion and accounted for 66.8% of Canada’s total trade with the world in 2018.

Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, CETA. Canada’s total trade with the member countries of CETA was valued at $118 billion and accounted for 10.0% of Canada’s total trade with the world in 2018.

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, CPTPP. Canada’s total trade with the member countries of CPTPP was valued at $98 billion and accounted for 8.3% of Canada’s total trade with the world in 2018.

On August 1, 2017, Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement, CUFTA, entered into force. The Agreement will immediately open customs-free access to 98% of Canada’s market. This refers both to agricultural and industrial goods.

Canada’s situation is more complex. Right after the Agreement comes into force, the duties will be eliminated only for 72% of Canadian goods. The duties for the rest of 27% will be gradually reduced in compliance with transition periods – 3, 5, and 7 years. Besides, the Agreement provides for partial liberalization on the agricultural products key for Ukraine as well as some tariff rate quotas and specific goods.

Women entrepreneurs from Volyn region discussed the barriers on the way to international markets

The CUTIS project in cooperation with regional chambers of commerce and industry launched a series of #SheChampion seminars. The main goal is to discuss barriers women entrepreneurs face in business and international trade, as well as share experience in entering foreign markets.

On October 10, in cooperation with the Volyn Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the second SheChampion seminar was held in Lutsk, bringing together about 20 participants.

Women entrepreneurs discussed gender issues in international trade, learned more about online trading and shared success stories of finding new partners in foreign markets.

Successful craftswoman Kateryna Voylova has shared the secrets of opening an online store on Etsy e-commerce platform.

Olena Tarasenko from the Volyn enterprise “VGP” (TM “Ruta”, big paper products producer) described the history of export development to EU countries.

At the end of the event, the participants had the opportunity to take part in an interactive master class on employees’ motivation. Vira Porovska, CUTIS gender expert explained how to retain key specialists using non-financial motivation.

In the process of the seminar, women entrepreneurs exchanged advice, accumulated new ideas for improving the export strategies of their enterprises, shared their experience and set up new business contacts.

Similar events are planned in other regions of Ukraine. The next seminar will be in Vinnytsia, on October 17. Participation in the event is free in case of pre-registration

Canadian ICT business successfully develops cooperation with Ukrainian partners at Lviv ІТ Arena

This year, Canada was first represented with its national booth at the Lviv IT Arena, the biggest Ukrainian IT conference, which was held on September 27-29 in Lviv, Western Ukraine.

With the support of the Government of Canada, a range of events under the Canada National IT Program has been conducted. It’s a bright illustration of the great attention paid to developing cooperation between the Ukrainian and Canadian ICT sectors.

With the assistance of the Embassy of Canada, six leading Canadian ICT companies have visited Lviv IT Arena for the first time (Tektelic, Free Balance, GTA, IT Solution Invest, IT Action Group, and Web4you). 

On September 28, Trade Commission Service, Embassy of Canada to Ukraine in collaboration with the Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce and the CUTIS project, organized the Canadian Business Breakfast which included B2B meetings between Canadian and Ukrainian companies. Roman Waschuk, Ambassador of Canada to Ukraine, opened the breakfast.

During the event, the Ukrainian N-iX company made the presentation of Ukrainian ICT sector achievements (Ukrainian IT Market in 2019 and beyond). 

About 20 Ukrainian companies attended b2b meetings with potential Canadian partners, including as leading companies like EPAM, SoftServe, as small and medium-sized businesses participating in CUTIS export support U CAN Export program (Inoxoft, Perfectial, LaSoft, Taurus Quadra).

On September 29, Canada Meet-Up meeting was held with the participation of the Honorary Consul of Canada Oksana Wynnyckyj-Yusypovych and the Canadian ICT business. About 40 Ukrainian ICT companies visited the event.

Summarizing, it is worth mentioning that the interest of Canadian ICT business in cooperation with Ukraine is ample proof of the high level of services that Ukrainian companies can and already provide to international partners in IT and communications sphere.

Main trade challenges facing women entrepreneurs

The Canada–Ukraine Trade and Investment Support (CUTIS) project co-delivered 12 World Business Café workshops in collaboration with regional chambers of commerce and with the participation of Ukraine’s Export Promotion Office.

Nearly 300 businesswomen attended in total.

The workshops aimed to define the challenges and the needs of women entrepreneurs that relate to exporting. The idea was to collect baseline information that would be helpful for stakeholders seeking to enhance business support services for women entrepreneurs in the future.

Discussions held during World Business Café workshops point to a number of challenges faced by women entrepreneurs.

The challenges reported fall into two main categories: export-related and gender-related. Participants were also asked about the types of assistance they would like to receive to help them overcome those challenges.

The top export-related challenges mentioned by workshop participants were a lack of information about accessing foreign markets, including information on regulatory requirements and standards, and a lack of relevant skills that enable exporting, such as negotiation skills and foreign-language skills.

Other challenges reported by participants included a lack of trade-related tools, a lack of business support services to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) become export-ready; difficulty finding partners in foreign markets; difficulty accessing capital; and a lack of knowledge about business culture in other countries.

To address those challenges, participants would like to receive targeted training on topics such as how to access foreign markets and how to develop an export strategy. They also asked for more online resources to support exporting, including step-by-step guides and information on the regulations and standards of importing countries.

The top gender-related challenges limiting the success of women entrepreneurs noted by participants were gender stereotypes in Ukrainian society, both in general and in business culture specifically.

Another major challenge was the double burden: women’s typical dual responsibility for home and business.

To download a report please follow the link.

The Canada-Ukraine Trade and Investment Support (CUTIS) Project is a 5-year (2016-2021) Canadian development assistance initiative designed to lower poverty in Ukraine through increasing exports from Ukraine to Canada and investment from Canada to Ukraine. The project funded by the Canadian Government through the Global affairs Canada and implemented by the Conference Board of Canada in partnership with the Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce.

The CUTIS project implements U CAN EXPORT Support Program in five priority sectors: clothing, footwear, furniture, confectionery, and IT services.

SheChampion: women entrepreneurs from Kherson discussed new prospects on the way to international markets

The CUTIS project in cooperation with regional chambers of commerce and industry launched a series of #SheChampion seminars. The main goal is to discuss barriers women entrepreneurs face in business and international trade, as well as share experience in entering foreign markets.

The meeting, held on June 5 in Kherson, united 26 representatives including businesswomen (agriculture and food, light industry, shipbuilding and machine building), public organization representatives, and local authorities.

During the event, Vira Porovska, a Ukrainian gender expert of the CUTIS project, presented a gender based analysis (GBA) of the export challenges of Ukrainian micro, small and medium enterprises in 5 industries (apparel, footwear, confectionery, furniture, and IT services).

Larisa Ponomarenko, Head of the Kherson RCC Center for International Cooperation shared information about the CUFTA and the prospects of entering the Canadian market, its features, preferences and trends.

Victoria Gavrenkova, co-founder of companies exporting sunflower oil to more than 44 countries, including Canada, shared their experience in starting their own business and entering new markets.

Marina Nikolayeva, co-owner and director of yacht and exquisite wooden furniture company, talked about her own experience of coping with double burden, delegation and distribution of responsibilities and constant self-development.

During the masterclass in sales conducted by Vira Porovska, businesswomen exchanged advice, accumulated new ideas for improving their enterprises, shared their experience and set up new business contacts.

Similar events are planned in other regions of Ukraine. Next seminar will be in Lutsk on June 20.  So keep an eye on the updates.

SheChampion: businesswomen from Vinnytsia learned how to overcome barriers on the way to foreign markets

The CUTIS project in cooperation with regional chambers of commerce and industry launched a series of #SheChampion seminars. The main goal is to discuss barriers women entrepreneurs face in business and international trade, as well as share experience in entering foreign markets.

The meeting, held on May 30 in Vinnytsia, united 30 representatives including businesswomen, public organization representatives, and local authorities.

During the event, Barbara MacLaren, a Canadian gender expert of the CUTIS project presented a gender based analysis (GBA) of the export challenges of Ukrainian micro, small and medium enterprises in 5 industries (apparel, footwear, confectionery, furniture, and IT services).

Svitlana Vyazilovska, CEO and owner of an agriculture company Biofarm Organic, shared her experience in exporting and entering foreign markets. Svitlana selected the most interesting for the audience topics, for instance, business profitability, searching for partners, certification, logistics, etc.

During the masterclass in sales conducted by Vira Porovska, a Ukrainian gender expert of the CUTIS project, businesswomen exchanged advice, accumulated new ideas for improving their enterprises, shared their experience and set up new business contacts.

Similar events are planned in other regions of Ukraine. Next seminar will be in Kherson on June 5.  So keep an eye on the updates.

Visible and Invisible Barriers: CUTIS project convened a discussion about gender based barriers to trade

The Canada-Ukraine Trade & Investment Support (CUTIS) project presented the report ‘Visible and Invisible Barriers: a Gender Based Analysis (GBA) of the Export Challenges of Ukrainian micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs)’ at an event on May 28 in Kyiv.

The main objective of the report was to provide useful policy recommendations to stakeholders on how to lower gender-based barriers to trade for women-owned and women-managed MSMEs. A gender-based analysis was used to examine the key issues facing men and women MSME owners and top managers as they engage in international trade.

Over 100 participants took part in the event including representatives of international and non-governmental organizations, governmental institutions, academia, media, business, and other interested organizations.

The GBA was conducted by a team of academics at the Centre for Social Indicators associated with the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS).

In total, 432 men-led MSMEs and 209 women-led MSMEs participated from five target industries – apparel, footwear, furniture, confectionery, and IT services.

This report in its gender analysis adds value to previous research on gender and trade by including the perspectives of export-oriented enterprises.

The study’s results highlight several findings that contribute to the global literature on gender and international trade:

1. Women were under-represented compared with men in terms of owning or managing an MSME. On average, only one in three companies was women-led (i.e., majority women-owned or managed). Furthermore, women-led MSMEs in four out of the five industries examined have women-dominant workforces.

2. Of the five target industries—confectionery, apparel, footwear, furniture, and IT—the highest level of women’s leadership was found in apparel, where 45 percent of surveyed MSMEs are led by women.

3. Micro and small women-led companies are slightly less likely to be currently exporting than men-owned companies of the same size. Among non-exporting businesses, we found that women-led MSMEs were less likely than those led by men to consider engaging foreign markets in the future.

4. In three of the five target industries, about half of women-led businesses that sell to domestic markets are not considering export in the future. Export barriers of concern to women-led companies are market entry and customs processes.

5. Over and above trade-related challenges, women-led MSMEs also voiced significant concern about traditional gender stereotypes and the role of women’s double burden in limiting their potential to internationalize their business.

The GBA report also includes 25 recommendations for public and private stakeholders to overcome gender-related barriers. It is our hope that these recommendations spark further discussion and action to bring about a more level playing field for men and women in international trade.

To download the report please follow this link

The Canada-Ukraine Trade and Investment Support (CUTIS) Project is a 5-year (2016-2021) Canadian development assistance initiative designed to lower poverty in Ukraine through increasing exports from Ukraine to Canada and investment from Canada to Ukraine. The project funded by the Canadian Government through the Global affairs Canada and implemented by the Conference Board of Canada in partnership with the Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce.

The CUTIS project implements U CAN EXPORT Support Program in five priority sectors: clothing, footwear, furniture, confectionery, and IT services.

11 agri-food producers represented Ukraine at SIAL Canada

On April 30th – May 2nd Toronto hosted the only Canadian national tradeshow offering up a complete range of food products, food-related equipment, and technologies – SIAL Canada. Enercare Centre gathered under one roof more than 1,000 exhibitors from 50 countries. Among this variety of tastes, there were showcased 11 Ukrainian producers united under the brand Made In Ukraine.

That was the second confectionery mission of Ukrainian food companies in Canada arranged by the CUTIS project. And this time, thousands of buyers met not only the new names but previously known products as well.

‘This year, Made In Ukraine was outstanding! Made In Ukraine expanded from confectionery and chocolate to include bulk, traditional and organic products. The Ukrainian merchandise received excellent reviews from North American (Canadian and USA) buyers and retailers, offering very competitive prices, top quality brands and attractive packaging,’ – Canadian expert Bertrand Walle said.

Ukrainian products were presented in two categories:

Chocolate, Confectionery, Cookies, Wafers and Crackers:

Honey, Organic Berries, Cereals & Edible Oils:

The mission for Ukrainian companies wasn’t limited by only showcasing in the SIAL show. The participants got useful tips on how to sell their products during the info sessions and visited a number of local grocery stores during retail familiarization tour.

The Canada-Ukraine Trade and Investment Support (CUTIS) Project is a 5-year (2016-2021) Canadian development assistance initiative designed to lower poverty in Ukraine through increasing exports from Ukraine to Canada and investment from Canada to Ukraine.

The CUTIS project implements U CAN EXPORT Support Program in five priority sectors: clothing, footwear, furniture, confectionery, and IT services.