Canadian Women visit Philadelphia in an exploratory trade mission

Late last month, women entrepreneurs involved in Atlantic Canada’s food and beverage industry participated in a trade mission that will build their export readiness skills and broaden their market horizons. Led by the Honourable Helena Guergis, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and International Trade, the delegation participated in an exploratory trade mission to Philadelphia, PA and New York, NY from June 25 returning home to celebrate Canada Day on July 1.

(L – R) Susan, Mildred Raymond of Mil-Ray Foods and Honourable Helena Guergis

The mission is part of the 2008 Women Exporters Initiative, a five-month export readiness program. It was organized by the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) – Nova Scotia Division and funded by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) with an investment of more than $263,000.

One of the speakers that I heard during one particular delicious meal at Fago de Chao was given by Mildred Ray, owner of Mil-Ray Food Company which is a Broad line Food Distributor, providing products to commercial establishments. Mildred outlined what it was like to get into a male dominated business and how she achieved success. Her Seven Rules to work by: 1) Know your product; 2) Pay Your Bills; 3) Rely on your credibility; 4) Be Friendly to your customers, never judge a person, many times she would go into a large restaurant and find the owner mopping the floor; 5) Make no enemies; 6) Serve your customers with all your ability 7) Never for the sake of a sale make a promise you cannot keep

Mr. Daniel Tremblay Consulate of Canada, located in Philadelphia greets guests

Women entrepreneurs from Atlantic Canada’s food and beverage industry learned first-hand how to expand their market horizons and build on their export readiness skills during this mission. National Defence and ACOA Minister Peter MacKay said that as a direct result of this mission, the participating women entrepreneurs now have the skills, knowledge and expertise to grow their business through exporting. For more information: