Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

August 26, 2011 11:24 ET

Media Advisory: Canada to Host 2011 International Agriculture Ministerial in September

Media Program now available

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 26, 2011) - Canada will take a leading role in agricultural trade relations with the objective of helping to foster a better agricultural trading system by hosting the 36th Cairns Group (CG) Ministerial Meeting. Over 150 participants from more than 25 countries are expected to gather in Saskatoon from September 7-9, 2011, including CG members and special guests from a number of other important trading partners. The Cairns Group is a coalition of 19 agricultural exporting countries with a commitment to strengthening agricultural trade.

Co-chaired by Canada and Australia, the meeting will focus on finding a way forward for agricultural trade issues in the World Trade Organization (WTO). For the first time, Canada will lead CG members in a discussion of how innovation and a science-based approach to international trade can positively impact market access and global food security objectives.

Media are invited to register in advance by filling out and returning the attached accreditation form.

Media Program

On September 7, from 17:30 until 17:45, Media are invited to attend the Opening Ceremony for a photo opportunity and TV footage.

On September 8, from 09:00 until 16:00, a media tour will highlight the exciting future for agricultural innovation. Each stop will have both story and photo opportunity elements. Details of the program are available below. At 17:00 Ministers and heads of delegation will gather for a group photo. The family photo will be open to escorted media.

On September 9, a news conference will be held at approximately 11:45 am, following the conclusion of the meetings. Media representatives who register for the press conference will receive an advisory should the time change. Members of the press who cannot attend the press conference can dial in through telephone conference - the phone number and pass code will be made available on September 8 to media registered for this event.

The Cairns Group meetings are closed to media. A Media Room will be made available at the Delta Bessborough Hotel, Mezzanine floor, in room Spadina.

EVENT: Media program of the 36th Cairns Group Ministerial Meeting: speeches, photo opportunity, media tour and press conference
DATE: September 7-9, 2011
LOCATION: Delta Bessborough Hotel
601 Spadina Crescent East
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, S7K 3G8 Canada
Media room: Spadina room, mezzanine floor

For all questions regarding the media program or arrangements, members of the press can contact Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada – Media Relations Services at: or 1-613-773-7972.

For information about the Cairns Group, please visit:

Media Tour on September 8:

As the Cairns Group works to chart the future of agricultural trade, researchers in Saskatoon and area are making groundbreaking strides in what agriculture might look like on the Canadian Prairies in the years ahead. Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan and Innovation Place, which neighbours the U of S campus, are using cutting edge technology to peer deep into the structure of matter and biotechnology to develop new varieties of plants aimed at securing the world's food supplies. This is a unique chance to experience the excitement of discovery firsthand. Each of the stops will have both story and photo opportunity elements. (Note: the tour will only proceed if there is sufficient pre-registered media interest)

9:15 to 10:30 - Canadian Light Source Synchrotron

This marvel of technology is a source of brilliant light used by scientists to view the microstructure of materials. The CLS synchrotron is being used in work in a number of agricultural and biotechnology projects including work in developing drought resistant crops, increasing crop productivity, recycling agricultural leftovers and work in renewable fuels and biomass.

10:30 – 11:30 - National Research Council of Canada's Plant Biotechnology Institute (PBI)

The PBI is the only National Research Council of Canada institute focused primarily on plant-based research. Surrounded by canola and wheat fields, the institute was first established in 1948 as the Prairie Regional Laboratory. Renamed The Plant Biotechnology Institute in 1983, PBI has a mandate for biotechnology and genomics research pertinent to crop improvement.

11:30 -12:30 Lunch (bag lunch provided highlighting local cuisine)

12:30-14:30 - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Saskatoon Research Centre

This is where some of the leading agricultural research in the country is taking place. The Centre conducts research on Prairie crops to support the agri-food industry in western Canada. In addition, it is a major location for research and development in agricultural biotechnology. The Centre is also home to the Plant Gene Resources of Canada and the Canadian Animal Genetic Resources Program, which have national mandates to protect and conserve Canada's national germplasm collections.

15:00 – 15:45 - Berry Barn Saskatoon Orchard

Located just south of the city and nestled on the banks of the South Saskatchewan River, this 27-acre orchard is the perfect place to discover Western Canada's "superfruit." Saskatoons, for which the city was named, are not only one of the most delicious and unique flavours around but also one of the healthiest. In comparisons with blueberry, raspberry and strawberry - the saskatoon was found to be more antioxidant rich than all of them. And from a nutraceutical perspective, antioxidant rich fruits have anti-cancer and anti-aging effects on the human body.

The media accreditation form is available at the following link:

A general information document is available at the following link:

Contact Information