Colombian food producers are looking to to take advantage of new tariff-free exporting to Canada with a trade delegation to the SIAL Canada International Food Expo in Montreal Wednesday.

Representatives from nine coffee, candy, chocolate and health snack businesses will attend the major international food fair from May 9 to 11, nine months after the launch of the Free Trade Agreement with Canada, said Colombia’s trade and tourism agency Proexport.

The delegation will set up at the Salon International de l’Alimentation (SIAL) Canada under the Proexport banner “A Taste of Colombian Flavors.”

“It is our first participation at SIAL but it comes at a good time for the FTA,” said Juliana Dorronsoro, assistant manager of the Cali-based health food company Del Alba, according to a Proexport statement. She added that the trend towards healthier eating boosts Del Alba’s export opportunities.

“When we went last year the FTA was about to take effect,” said Maria Paula Gamboa of the sugar company Ciamsa. “Now that is complete, we will resume contacts and leverage the new benefits we have.”

The delegation also included pastry company El Astor, coffee producers Grupo Tayronaca and Café Liofilizado Buendía, sugar producers Ingenio Risaralda and Mayaguez, and health food company Dipsa Food.

The annual SIAL Canada expo is a leading North American agri-food show. The 2012 iteration will see 700 exhibitors and13,000 visitors representing 60 countries.

Colombian businesses were also visiting the Toronto Bakery Showcase 2012.

Colombian exports grew 15.5% from 2010 to 2011, to $614.4 million, according to the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism. The agribusiness had the highest growth, with sales up 43.2% to $77.9 million in 2011.

From Colombia Reports