Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

November 23, 2007 21:34 ET

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada: Minister Ritz Completes Successful Mission in Europe and Invites International Partners to Do More Agri-Business with Canada

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM--(Marketwire - Nov. 23, 2007) - The Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board, issued the following statement today after completing discussions with his international counterparts at the Food and Agricultural Organization's (FAO) biennial meeting.

"During my time in Rome, I had the opportunity to sit down and talk face to face with some of our most important trading partners. We strengthened existing trade arrangements and made progress on a number of issues.

"I made the case for Canadian farmers and our entire agri-food industry in bilateral discussions, including a meeting with Acting U.S. Agriculture Secretary Charles Conner in which we reaffirmed our shared commitment to keep the beef trade moving smoothly and the importance of having the U.S. remove its temporarily imposed meat-testing measures on Canadian products.

"As well, I emphasized to Kantilal Bhuria, India's Minister of State for Agriculture, our desire that India reduce tariffs on canola oil, as well as our concerns about India's fumigation requirement and pest-risk assessments regarding our pulse crops.

"I had the opportunity as well to put forward Canada's agricultural position in meetings with ministers and officials from Japan, Russia, Peru and Finland.

"It was an honour to see how eager international leaders are to go into business with Canada and a great opportunity for me to tell them what we are doing to continue producing the highest quality products in the world. They have tremendous respect for the safety and quality of the products Canadian farmers grow, and countries around the world hold Canada in high esteem as a trading partner.

"This mission in Europe is another example of our Government's commitment to work for farmers and farm families. Just before I left Canada, my provincial and territorial colleagues and I agreed to go to the world to seek new markets for our struggling livestock industry. This became a crucial part of my mission abroad. I'm very pleased to report that every country I spoke to was eager to explore trade in all kinds of Canadian livestock products, from genetics to high quality meat to live animals. Now we're going to work very hard to maximize these opportunities for Canadian producers."

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
    Patrick J. McCloskey
    Press Secretary