Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

October 18, 2013 13:37 ET

Harper Government Invests in New Markets for Bison Industry

REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwired - Oct. 18, 2013) - Bison producers will benefit from key investments in market development that will lead to new export opportunities for the bison sector. Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced today an investment to the Canadian Bison Association (CBA) to help the bison industry increase international sales through the marketing and promotion of Canadian bison products.

"This government remains committed to supporting what matters to farmers: jobs, trade and prosperity," said Minister Ritz. "Canada's bison industry is growing rapidly and this investment will help bison producers make this quality, nutritious, lean red meat a staple at dinner tables everywhere."

This investment of over $225,000 will help the CBA create demand in new markets, such as Mexico and China, where they will promote Canadian bison as a unique, high-quality meat product. The CBA will also undertake industry-to-industry advocacy activities with the U.S., strengthening their trade relationship in the process and ensuring long-term prosperity for the industry.

"This investment in market development makes a big difference for a growing industry like ours," said Mark Silzer, President of the Canadian Bison Association. "When these funds are matched by our producers and marketers, it results in an investment of almost half a million dollars over five years to grow and diversify our markets globally."

The CBA works with a membership of approximately 600 producers, who represent close to 90 per cent of the bison production in Canada, to promote bison products in the international and domestic markets. In 2012, the Canadian bison industry generated more than $32 million in bison and live animal exports.

Today's investment coincides with Prime Minister Stephen Harper announcing that Canada and the European Union (EU) have reached an agreement in principle on a comprehensive trade agreement that will significantly boost trade and investment ties between the two partners, and create jobs and opportunities for Canadians. Upon entry into force, almost 94 per cent of EU agricultural tariff lines will be duty-free.

The AgriMarketing Program is a five-year, $341-million initiative under Growing Forward 2. The Market Development stream seeks to build and promote Canada's ability to expand domestic and export markets by undertaking promotional activities to help position and differentiate Canadian products and producers, and ensure industry's ability to meet market requirements.

The new Growing Forward 2 policy framework, which came into effect on April 1, 2013, will continue to drive innovation and long-term growth in Canada. In addition to a generous suite of business risk management programs, governments have agreed to invest more than $3 billion over five years in innovation, competitiveness, and market development.

For more information on the Growing Forward 2 agreement and the AgriMarketing Program, please visit

Contact Information

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

    Jeff English
    Press Secretary
    The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz