Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

November 22, 2011 11:33 ET

Harper Government Increasing Opportunities for Canada's Grain Industry

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 22, 2011) - Grain farmers and the entire grain industry will reap the rewards of added market opportunities and competition said Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz at the 2011 Grain Industry Symposium today. The Symposium, titled "A Time for Change: Increasing Opportunities for Canada's Grain Industry," was an opportune event to reiterate the Harper Government's commitment to expanding market opportunities, investing in innovation and giving Western Canadian farmers the marketing freedom they want and deserve.

Minister Ritz outlined how the $50 million Agricultural Innovation Program (AIP) will support industry-led science and technology, bridging the gap between ideas and the marketplace. By helping make innovative value-added products, technologies, processes and services commercially available, the Canadian agriculture sector can reduce production costs, create jobs, and boost revenue.

"Cutting-edge innovation and value-added products can help our grain farmers and the entire value chain remain competitive and continue to drive Canada's economy," said Minister Ritz. "Whether we're investing in innovation or giving Western grain farmers marketing freedom, the Harper Government is helping farmers and the grain industry become more competitive and profitable."

The Marketing Freedom for Grain Farmers Act, Bill C-18, will give Western Canadian farmers the right to sell their wheat, durum and barley as they choose, whether that's individually or through a voluntary Canadian Wheat Board. Last Friday, C-18 proceeded through the first day of report stage. Once completing report stage, the bill will go to third reading and final vote in the House of Commons.

"The Western Canadian grain industry's true economic potential and entrepreneurial energy will be unleashed once farmers have marketing freedom," said Minister Ritz. "Marketing freedom will bring added value to the industry and innovation to Western Canada, while providing Prairie grain farmers the same marketing rights as producers in other parts of Canada, such as Ontario."

While the Marketing Freedom for Grain Farmers Act is an important example of the Government's focus on market access initiatives, Minister Ritz also highlighted successes for the grain industry in India, China, Indonesia and the United States, among others, as outlined in the annual report from the Market Access Secretariat of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Contact Information

  • Media Relations
    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario

    Meagan Murdoch
    Director of Communications
    The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz