LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwired - Oct. 8, 2013) - Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz concluded a successful trade mission today to the United Kingdom, Ireland and Germany. During the mission, Minister Ritz promoted Canada's high-quality food products at ANUGA, the world's largest food show, and met with key counterparts and industry stakeholders to advance mutual agricultural interests.
"By creating and expanding trade and business opportunities in Europe, we are increasing farmers' profitability and competitiveness while contributing to the economic growth of our country," said Minister Ritz. "Our Government continues to support free and unfettered trade rooted in sound science to strengthen the farm gate, grow our economy, and feed the world."
In Germany, Minister Ritz supported Canadian agri-food businesses at ANUGA, the world's largest food and beverage business platform, which provides an excellent opportunity for the Canadian agricultural industry to meet and forge relationships with potential new customers. This year, 39 Canadian companies are exhibiting in the Canada pavilion in the Fine Food Hall and 28 pork and beef companies in the Meat Hall. In 2011, Canada's pavilion at ANUGA resulted in $97 million in actual and anticipated sales, including $8.5 million in on-site sales.
At ANUGA, Minister Ritz took the opportunity to meet with other counterparts present from the United Kingdom and India, as well as a delegation from Portugal.
In Dublin, Minister Ritz met with his counterpart to strengthen the Canada-Ireland agricultural trade relationship. He also met with key investors and companies doing business with Canada, as well as with executives from Ireland's agricultural sector.
In the United Kingdom, Minister Ritz met with Canada's most important wheat customer in the U.K., the Warburtons company. Warburtons is a long-standing, valuable customer of Canadian wheat. Canadian producers grow wheat for Warburtons to very exacting quality specifications. That great relationship has continued through the first year of marketing freedom, which gave western Canadian grain producers the same freedom to market their crops as their counterparts across the country. In fact, Canadian wheat sales to the U.K. have increased by 50 per cent for the first year of the open grain market, with 466.8 thousand tonnes being sold in the 2012-13 crop year.