Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

February 02, 2012 09:47 ET

Harper Government Investments to Help Dairy Farmers Boost Exports

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 2, 2012) - Canadian dairy farmers will grow their businesses through increased market opportunities with new support from the Harper Government. Parliamentary Secretary Pierre Lemieux, on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, announced today an investment of nearly $1.3 million at the Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) annual policy conference in Ottawa.

"Our Government's top priority remains the economy, and Canadian dairy farmers play an important role in creating jobs and keeping our economy strong," said Parliamentary Secretary Lemieux. "This investment will boost our dairy farmers' bottom lines by enabling them to better showcase their world-class dairy products and genetics systems internationally."

An investment of over $1 million will enable the Canadian Livestock Genetics Association (CLGA) to create new markets to export dairy genetics. The CLGA will accomplish this by participating in key trade shows and targeted trade missions, conducting market assessments and training more farmers in the production and transfer of embryos.

"These funds help us to grow markets through promotion and the equipping of clients in other countries to profitably manage their investment in Canadian dairy genetics," said Rick McRonald, Executive Director of the CLGA. "Whether it is training in embryo transfer, advice on feeding and nutrition or whatever the client needs, the AgriMarketing Program helps us to provide the 'full package' Canadian advantage."

Recently, the Government of Canada has achieved concrete results for Canadian exporters of live breeding cattle by successfully working to open markets in Vietnam, the United Arab Emirates and the Philippines.

An investment of over $130,000 will assist DFC in developing niche markets for high-value cheese made with the unique know-how of Canada's cheesemakers. Many Canadian specialty and artisan cheeses featuring value-added attributes have won top distinctions in national and international competitions. More than half of Canadian exports of specialty cheeses go to the US, a market which received more than $12 million worth of specialty cheeses from Canada in 2010.

"Canada's great cheesemakers and the dairy farmers that provide them with outstanding, high-quality milk are working together to expand the interest in Canadian cheese in international markets, and the market development expertise provided by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Dairy Farmers of Canada are valuable resources in making this happen," said Wally Smith, DFC President. "Canada is well known abroad for its cheese-making history and the reputation of the Canadian cheesemaker is an instant door-opener to foreign consumers who seek products."

Today's announcements are 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.

As a recipient of AgriMarketing funds, the CLGA and DFC 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 CLGA and DFC as registered Canada Brand members 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