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Export Through a Gender Lens: Identifying Markets

Colleen Haussecker’s company Canadian Organic Spice & Herb Co. has been selling its Splendor Garden brand of organic food products into the Canadian market for seven years. Due to demand, the company recently started to export its Splendor Garden product line into Europe and Asia. 

“Because we are in the spice business, and we do not grow an abundance of spice in Canada, we import a lot of product,” says Haussecker. “When importing, all of our producers want payment prior to their goods landing at our port.”  

Whenever Splendor Garden places an order, they have to put 30-50 per cent up front and then pay the rest before the product ships into the Canadian port. This process ensures companies get paid before their product lands at its destination.  

“As a young export company, we thought we would do business the same way as our vendors with payment up front to mitigate the risk of not getting paid,” says Haussecker. “As we develop long-term relationships with our customers, we will get a little more lenient and give them terms.”  

The pandemic has made it easier for new companies like Splendor Garden to do export sales.  

Haussecker says one benefit from COVID-19 is the virtual trade shows. They are a great way to gain new customers from around the world without having to leave your home. 

“When you’re working with long-distance customers, it is important to be highly attentive to customers and prospective customers in order to gain their trust and business,” says Haussecker. “The biggest message I can share is to always under promise and over deliver. You want to be realistic, and you don’t want your customer to wait.”