MONTREAL — European Flavors, a healthy-eating initiative inspired by the Mediterranean diet and currently active in the United States, Russia and Japan, has expanded into Canada.
A reception to announce the expansion was held April 13, here, in conjunction with the 86th annual Canadian Produce Marketing Association convention and exposition.
Launched in 2008, European Flavors is funded jointly by the European Union, the Italian government and members of Centro Servizi Ortofrutticoli, the marketing arm for Italian growers.
Key produce items promoted through the program are peaches, nectarines, plums, pears, kiwifruit and red oranges.
In Canada, Montreal-based Agri-Mondo Inc., which sponsored the April 13 reception, is the exclusive produce distributor for CSO-member companies, including Alegra, Made in Blu and Oranfrizer, which supply the European Flavors program.
The Canadian supermarket chains Sobey’s, Metro Richelieu and Jardin Mobile have signed on as partners to help to promote the program.
J.C. Barros, a Miami-based marketing representative for European Flavors, said that the three-year-old program has been successful and that the expansion into Canada was a natural move since healthy eating, with a focus on produce, is something that residents here embrace.
“We expect it to be successful in Canada as well because Canadians are more focused on healthy eating and eat more produce [than U.S. residents],” said Mr. Barros. “We plan to do tastings and demos at the Canadian retail chains, and there will be other marketing initiatives, such as seminars, planned for the future.”
Mr. Barros added that European Flavors will concentrate on Quebec and Ontario for the first year, with plans to expand to other provinces in the future.
Agri-Mondo is an ideal partner in the program, according to Adriana Borsellino, whose father, Joe, founded the company in 1992.
“Agri-Mondo is an importer and distributor of citrus, deciduous fruits and watermelons,” said Ms. Borsellino. “We supply chains exclusively and source from various countries around the world, with an emphasis on Italy, Spain, South Africa, Chile and Argentina. We do not handle a large product line, but we are experts with what we do handle.”
Ms. Borsellino added that Agri-Mondo has “true partnerships” with both its suppliers and customers. “We have worked with some suppliers for 20 years, and they help us keep an eye on what is happening globally so that we can get the best product to customers at a price that they can promote and sell it.”
Agri-Mondo recently moved to a new state-of-the-art facility in Boucherville, which is just south of Montreal. The company also unveiled a new logo and will launch a new web site in the near future, according to Ms. Borsellino.