Ontario growers call export markets stable

02/05/2010 02:50:08 PM
Ashley Bentley

LEAMINGTON, Ontario — In a market so saturated with export business, each year brings its own unique trials and tribulations with exchange rates and cross-border challenges.

“The exchange rate is almost a parity right now, which presents some challenges as we export a large percentage of our Ontario crop to the U.S.,” said Kyle Moynahan, salesman for Jem-D International.
 
It’s been close to par for some time now, said Chris Mastronardi, sales manager for Kingsville-based Double Diamond Acres Ltd.
 
“We learn to live with it,” Mastronardi said.

The U.S. dollar is weaker than normal, though.

“But it’s not a huge deal because some of our cost is in U.S. dollars, also,” Mastronardi said.
Export markets are pretty stable, he said, with the U.S. continuing to be the biggest market for most Canadian-grown greenhouse produce.

The weaker U.S. dollar can make things easier when Canadian shippers are bringing in product from Mexico, but makes it harder when product is moving the other direction, from Canada south.

“Right now it’s hurting us,” said Ron Lapos, president of Special Edition Marketing, Kingsville. “But the exchange is the exchange.”

The exchange rate has not been in favor for anyone in this town,” said Mark Slater, co-owner of Erie James Ltd.

“But the exchange rate doesn’t stop us from exporting because it’s part of our customer base,” Slater said. “We’re not going to let them down.”

Westmoreland Sales exports about 60% of its product to the U.S.

“The value of the dollar has just been part of the landscape of doing business across the border,” said Dino Dilaudo, sales manager. “We don’t change our method of business based on it.”



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