CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - Oct. 18, 2013) - Alberta Barley is optimistic that the newly signed Canada-European Union Comprehensive and Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) will help to secure our agricultural future and unlock the significant potential for further global trade.
"Alberta's barley farmers are excited about CETA and what it means for our future," said Alberta Barley Chairman Matt Sawyer. "This historical deal gives us a chance to open more doors and grow our exports to the European market."
The CETA is expected to remove tariffs on virtually all of Canada's agriculture and food products over time, giving our export markets a significant boost. Currently, Canadian agri-food exports to the EU are $2.4 billion a year, a number that could increase by more than $1.5 billion annually under this agreement.
"In Canada, we are fortunate to produce more than we need to feed our country, and our farmers rely on exports to be profitable," said Sawyer. "CETA will help us to reach over 500 million consumers in the EU, which is huge news for us."
"Canada exported over 1.4 million tonnes of barley in 2012 and that number will grow under CETA," he added. "However, the biggest gain for Alberta barley farmers is that increased access for beef and pork in the European marketplace means greater demand for feed barley at home."
Alberta accounts for nearly half of Canada's annual barley production; approximately nine out of every 10 farms in Canada are dependent on exports.