Tony Marinaro and Tom Bruyere of Kish-Gon-Dug Canada Inc. (KGD), a manufacturer of western red cedar lawn furniture, recently travelled to Dublin, Ireland to attend the Autumn Furniture Fair—a prestigious wholesaler/retailer only event.
Kish-Gon-Dug Canada Inc. is based out of Naicatchewenin First Nation, a community of 300 people near Devlin.
KGD Canada’s products were previewed at this show through their new distributor, Backwoods International of Belfast, Ireland.
At the fair, a distribution agreement was signed giving exclusive rights to Backwoods International in the countries of England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.
The agreement also offers non-exclusive rights in Europe for a five-year period.
With the support of the Canadian Embassy in Ireland, the signing of the agreement was witnessed by Gerry Mongey, Canada’s trade commissioner to Ireland.
Since 2005, Backwoods International has purchased 700 pieces of the furniture to sell in Ireland.
“The response to the First Nation-made furniture has been extraordinary,” said Backwoods International owner Michael McClelland.
“We expect that interest and sales will continue to increase in the coming years because of the unique quality, design, and durability of the furniture,” he added.
Presently, KGD Canada also has marketing and distribution networks in the United States and the Netherlands.
Efforts on expanding the Canadian market now will be the main focus, and already has begun as agreements are presently being negotiated with a company out of Quebec.
Marketing and distribution initiatives for KGD Canada is supported by FedNor, a federal regional development organization in Ontario that works with a variety of partners to help create an environment in which communities can thrive, businesses can grow, and people can prosper.