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Industry NewsSIAL Canada: In conversation with Xavier Poncin

SIAL Canada: In conversation with Xavier Poncin

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The 19th edition of the International Food Show, SIAL Canada took place from April 20th to 22nd at the Palais des Congrès de Montreal and Grocery Business was there. We spoke with Xavier Poncin, chief executive officer of SIAL Canada who said that the 2022 edition confirmed the importance of SIAL Canada “as a source of inspiration for the entire North American industry” and a vital platform for doing business.

After an absence of three years throughout the pandemic, SIAL Canada aimed to re-establish itself as a must-attend event for the agri-food industry in Canada.

The 19th edition included 809 exhibitors and brands from 49 countries spread over 220,000 square feet; with nearly 15,000 professional visitors from 57 countries.

“This was by far the most complicated, but also the most successful edition in our history under the circumstances. Three years without events, restrictions lifted 2 months before the show, a 100 per cent new team, only five months of marketing and promotion is, as far as I am concerned, a successful tour de force! Our show has demonstrated its strong anchorage in the agri-food industry landscape, and this is despite our absence. Indeed, we succeeded in keeping our place as a leader both in the great exhaustiveness of our offer, as well as in our high-level content through our conferences, workshops and animations. We can say that our objective of ‘back to business, face to face’ has been reached, even exceeded, which would have been impossible to do without the support of our partners and exhibitors,” said Poncin.

Poncin says that his team is already looking to come back even stronger next year. His ambitions for the future include further bolstering opportunities for buyers across North America in a quasi “SIAL North American free-trade program.” 

The 2022 Hosted Buyers’ Program posted that 716 meetings were recorded over the three days of the show. This area brought together 87 buyers from 14 different countries and 356 exhibitors from 39 countries. The program included the largest distributors in the U.S., Mexico and China, such as Bozzuto’s, Atalanta, Sigma Foodservice and Angliss Shenzhen, as well as major retailers in Canada, including Coleman’s and Simply for Life. The program’s official partners were OMAFRA, MAPAQ, Agriculture Canada and EDC.

The SIAL Canada operations have already started selling the show for 2023 with more than 40 per cent of the show space already reserved by exhibitors. SIAL Canada 2023, which will take place from May 9th to 11th at the Enercare Centre in Toronto, Ont.

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