Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

December 13, 2011 10:35 ET

Government of Canada Helps Farmers Develop New Forage Markets

SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - Dec. 13, 2011) - Canadian farmers will benefit from the continued expansion of international forage markets thanks to the support of the Government of Canada. Maurice Vellacott, Member of Parliament for Saskatoon-Wanuskewin, announced today on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz an investment of more than $85,000 to the Canadian Forage and Grassland Association (CFGA) to enhance the competitiveness of forage farmers internationally.

"Our Government's top priority remains the economy, and Canada's agriculture industry plays an important role in keeping our economy strong," said MP Vellacott. "This investment will help our farmers strengthen our economy and solidify their reputation as a premier supplier of forage to the world by expanding market access for their top-quality products."

This investment will enable the CFGA to develop promotion and information packages for international buyers, prepare market development display materials, and participate in international trade shows. These efforts will help the CFGA establish new business contacts and create new export opportunities to increase farmer profitability.

"Support from the AgriMarketing Program is key to helping the forage export sector of the Canadian Forage and Grassland Association not only identify the main export markets, but also to expand market access and promote the marketing of Canadian forage products into these markets," said CFGA Executive Director Wayne Digby. "This funding will help us focus on markets such as the US, China and the Middle East."

Canada's forages are internationally recognized due to Canada's world class processing facilities, clean, natural growing environments, and leading edge infrastructure for transportation. In 2010, Canada exported more than $90 million worth of hay and forage products to over 20 different countries. Canada is the third largest exporter of forages in the world, and has approximately 10 per cent of the world market share.

Today's announcement is part of an $88 million investment provided through the AgriMarketing program under Growing Forward, which helps industry implement long-term international strategies including activities such as international market development, industry-to-industry trade advocacy, and consumer awareness and branding.

Since its incorporation in March 2010 the CFGA has been providing a national voice for all Canadians who produce hay and forage products and for those whose production is dependent upon it. As a recipient of AgriMarketing funds, the CFGA will help brand Canadian agricultural products around the world, building greater recognition for the quality, safety advantages and environmental benefits of Canadian products. Tools and promotional items are available to the CFGA as a registered Canada Brand member to help develop its marketing strategies and activities.

To find out more about the AgriMarketing Program or the Canada Brand international strategy, visit: www.agr.gc.ca/agrimarketing or www.marquecanadabrand.agr.gc.ca.

Contact Information

  • Media Relations
    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    613-773-7972
    1-866-345-7972

    Meagan Murdoch
    Director of Communications
    The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
    613-773-1059