A respected Malaysian food and beverage company is proudly promoting the fact that it uses soybeans from Canada.
Yeo Hiap Seng, a century-old Malaysian company world renowned for its nutritious soy milk drinks, is now displaying the Canada Brand logo a stylized red maple leaf on its product labels. This is the result of the first-ever Canada Brand co-branding agreement for food and agriculture.
“Yeo’s is a world leader in the beverage industry,” said Steve Scholze, chairman of the Canadian Soybean Exporters’ Association, who signed the agreement with Yeo. “The fact that the company believes advertising its use of Canadian soybeans will give it a competitive edge says a lot about the Canada Brand.”
The Canada Brand initiative, launched in July 2006, was developed by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) with industry stakeholders and provincial governments. There are now about 180 company and association members who have signed on to use the Canada Brand tools.
After signing a legal agreement, members are allowed the use of Canada Brand graphics on their product or services, and have access to additional tools such as consumer and buyer market research in our key export markets, professional photos and templates.
The goal is to leverage Canada’s strong image abroad to help the food and agriculture industry increase the international sales and profile of Canadian products.
A co-branding agreement allows a foreign entity, such as Yeo’s, to use the Canada Brand graphics on its products, indicating they contain Canadian ingredients.
“This really brings the Canada Brand to a different level,” said Janice Vansickle, Executive Director of AAFC’s Branding Management division.
Canadian soybeans are the soybeans of choice for many international buyers because of their stable quality, higher consistency in shape and size which results in a better grind and higher protein content.
Canadian soybean exports to Malaysia increased 162 per cent in volume in 2006 over 2005.
“I think it’s great that a respected company such as Yeo’s appreciates the value of promoting the Canada Brand to its consumers,” said Sharon Fam, a Canadian Trade Commissioner in Malaysia, who helped broker the co-branding agreement.
“It really illustrates how highly thought of Canadian products are. Yeo’s is essentially saying, ‘we think the Canada Brand is so valuable, we’re going to leverage that value by promoting it to our consumers,” Fam said. “This will strengthen consumer trust and eventually generate greater demand for Canadian products, which is exactly what the Canada Brand initiative was intended to do.”
Yeo Hiap Seng offers 40 beverages and a range of Asian food products and sauces.