Growing Forward II Funding
Equine Canada's Industry Division Secures Federal Funding for International Growth
At Equine Canada's annual convention held in Winnipeg, MB, the Federal government announced a three-year, $483,650 investment in the Canadian equine industry through to March 31, 2016. The funding is based on a five-year plan, the Equine Canada Long Term International Strategy.
The funding will enable Equine Canada to put in place a comprehensive plan targeting international market development for the Canadian equine industry. The goal is to encourage the development of key export markets with long-term potential for the sale of Canadian-bred horses and genetics, which will help Canadian horse breeders compete effectively and successfully in the international marketplace.
While exports will continue into the traditional markets of the United States and Europe, the focus of Equine Canada's efforts wil be on activities that address the development of long-term growth in new and emerging markets for equestrian sport and racing activities. Rapid expansion in international markets for horses is evident in Asia, Central America, South America, and specific national markets in South Africa and Australia. During the 2014 through 2018 period, the focus will be on developing new markets for Canadian-bred horses, genetics and expertise.
"The government of Canada remains committed to supporting the agricultural industry through strategic investments to grow international markets," said Ted Falk, Member of Parliament for Provencher, on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. "This investment will help the equine sector develop key export markets for our Canadian-bred horses to ensure the long-term sustainability of the industry."
Inbound and Outbound Exploratory Missions to Target Markets:
The target areas for the funding include three types of activities - inbound and outbound exploratory missions to target markets, events showcasing Canadian horses, and South African Standardbred market development.
Inbound and outbound exploratory missions with Argentina, Australia, Brazil and China (Zhou, China at left) will enable Canadian stakeholders to communicate one-on-one with target market stakeholders. Equine Canada will be partnering with national breed organizations, sport organizations and provincial equine industry organizations to organize the missions.
"Our long-term strategy moving forward is to identify and focus on new markets for equestrian sport and racing, and to build strong relationships with stakeholders in those new markets that will result in long-term sales for Canadian horses and genetics. Canada has a lot to offer. Not only quality horses and genetics, but experience and expertise in all areas of industry development," added Equine Canada president Al Patterson. "Our approach is to get into new markets as early as possible - get in on the ground floor - and use the experience and expertise we have to offer from Canada to help build markets for our horses."
Showcase to Capitalize on the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto, ON
To capitalize on the large number of visitors expected to attend the Pan American Games in Toronto in 2015, Equine Canada will hold a Pan American Showcase featuring Canadian horses and the diverse range of offerings from the Canadian industry.
The Showcase will be supported with opportunities for farm tours in the region, and breed or sport specific evalutations of local breeding stock and horses for sale. This event will provide a platform for Canadians to demonstrate the full diversity of offerings from the horse industry through exhibitions of various sport activities.
As a trial-run to the Pan American Showcase, a pre-games event called the Horse Experience 2014 is currently being organized. Providing a chance to test drive elements of the Showcase events, this is a marketing opportunity for local industry stakeholders to present the range of opportunities to participate with horses and drive interest in buying horses in the local and regional marketplace.
The final activity ia bout capturing South African interest in Canadian Standardbred horses and genetics for the new racing market. It will include inbound and outbound visits to investigate available breeding stock, buyer requirements in target markets, buyer training sessions in South Africa and the development of techinical support services and in-depth branding strategy of Canadian-bred Standardbreds to South Africa.
"Two of the projects over the next three years - the Pan Am Showcase and the South African Standardbred Project - are specifically set up to give our industry a template to use in future years as new markets are identified," said Equine Canada Industry Division chair, Dean Leifso. "The Pan Am Showcase event provides a model for how to leverage international events in Canada as marketing tools for selling Canadian horses. The South Africa project for Standardbreds will provide a template for how to approach brand new markets with expertise, resources and support for development of their sport and industry. We expect that this template can be ported over to be used for other sports and other countries, moving forward."
The approach for international market development will function as a project template that could be applied in other countries and for other market segments. The model could be applied to developing markets for race horses in other countries, sport horses for FEI sports in emerging markets, and Quarter Horses for racing and sport. This project will provide a template for Canadian equine industry stakeholders to follow to maximize success in capturing new markets and capitalizing on emerging market opportunities.
Click here for Equine Canada's Long Term International Strategy (LTIS) (PDF file)