OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 7, 2013) - Beginning today, Canadian producers will benefit from more export opportunities in the Middle East. Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced today that Turkey has approved imports of sheep and goat genetics from Canada.
"We are pleased that Turkey recognizes the safety and high quality of Canadian agricultural products," said Minister Ritz. "This agreement is an important achievement in our continued efforts to expand market access so Canadian producers can continue to grow our economy."
Access to the Turkish market flows from the Government's trade expansion goals and is the result of its focused efforts to create new opportunities and science-based trade for Canadian producers. Successful expansion of the Turkish market will also result in better awareness of Canadian products and services in the surrounding countries, leading to potential new market opportunities. Advancing trade with other countries in this region has been at the forefront for Canadian producers, as Turkey is viewed as a priority and emerging market.
"The Canadian Livestock Genetics Association (CLGA) thanks the Government of Canada for finalizing these protocols," said Rick McRonald, President of the CLGA. "The demand in Turkey for Canadian sheep and goat genetics is growing, so the resolution of the interruption in technical market access came at a crucial time. Canadian exporters will now be able to engage with their Turkish clients and partners in the confidence that technical barriers to trade in semen and embryos have been removed."
Total Canadian exports of animal genetics (semen and embryos) reached $103.6 million in 2012, representing an important export commodity. Producers will now have access to another market open to our high-quality agricultural products. The CLGA estimates the potential value of this market to be $250 000 over five years.
End-of-year trade statistics indicate that 2012 was Canada's best export year on record for the agriculture and food industry. In 2012, exports of Canadian agricultural and seafood products reached $47.7 billion, up 7.4 per cent from $44.4 billion in 2011.
Today's announcement is another example of what is being accomplished to enhance competitiveness and long-term growth in Canadian agriculture-priorities under the Growing Forward 2 policy framework. In addition to multi-year funding for risk management programs, Growing Forward 2 includes $3 billion in strategic initiatives for innovation, competitiveness, and market development.