Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

November 29, 2013 11:55 ET

Minister Bernier Highlights Widespread Benefits of Canada-EU Trade Agreement for Quebec Food and Beverage Processors

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - Nov. 29, 2013) - The Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism, and Agriculture), today highlighted how Quebec and Canadian food and beverage processing industry will profit from the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

"This historic agreement is Canada's most comprehensive and ambitious ever and is a big win for Quebec and Canada's food and beverage processing industry," said Minister Bernier. "Workers and families who rely on our country's largest manufacturing industry stand to greatly benefit from the preferential access this agreement provides to the most lucrative market in the world."

Minister Bernier was speaking at the Lantic Inc. refinery before meeting with stakeholders from the food processing sector to discuss the benefits of this agreement and tour the facility. Lantic Inc. operates refineries in Montreal, Quebec, Vancouver, British Columbia and a sugar beet processing facility in Taber, Alberta, manufacturing such products as granulated, icing, cube, yellow and brown sugars as well as liquid sugars and syrups.

"CETA brings a double benefit to Lantic. Additional sugar will be refined right here at our Montreal refinery, and value-added sugar containing products produced by Lantic Blending will be exported to the premium and large European Union market," said Manon Lacroix, Vice President of Finance at Lantic Inc. "Over time, these new export opportunities will help support jobs and economic growth in the Canadian sugar and processed foods industry."

Transforming agricultural commodities into food and beverages is an important part of Canada's agricultural and agri-food industry, and a key manufacturing sub-sector. In 2012, Canadian exports for the food processing industry totaled $26.5 billion. Between 2010 and 2012, annual Canadian exports of manufactured food and beverages to the EU averaged $536 million.

"The CETA, when implemented, will be Canada's most significant free trade deal since the NAFTA," said Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance (CAFTA) Executive Director Kathleen Sullivan. "When completely implemented, we believe it will increase Canadian agriculture and food exports by C$1.5 billion including $600 million in beef, $400 million in pork, $100 million in grains and oilseeds, $100 million in sugar containing products, and a further $300 million in processed foods, fruits and vegetables."

Currently, Canadian exports of processed food products and beverages face complex and prohibitive EU tariffs. For example, EU tariffs for certain fruit jams start at 24 percent, and can reach much higher. When CETA comes into force, existing EU tariffs on processed foods and beverages will be eliminated immediately, benefitting Canada's processed foods and beverages sector across the country by generating more jobs, higher wages and greater long-term prosperity.

On October 18, 2013, Canada and the European Union announced an agreement-in-principle on a landmark trade deal. The 28-country EU represents a market of over 500 million consumers and economic activity worth $17 trillion a year. It has been estimated that the CETA could boost bilateral trade by 20% and the Canadian economy by $12 billion annually, equivalent to creating 80,000 jobs or increasing the average Canadian family's income by $1,000 a year.

The Harper Government also recently launched the Global Markets Action Plan (GMAP) to help Canadian companies open up new markets and build on established ones. Under this plan, the Government of Canada will continue its aggressive pro-trade and investment agenda by pursuing new free trade and investment agreements and promoting Canadian products through trade missions and strong support on the ground.

For more information on how the Canada-European Union trade agreement will benefit the agriculture and agri-food sector, please visit Increasing Exports of Agriculture and Agri-Food Products.

For more information on the vast benefits of this agreement to every region of Canada, please visit actionplan.gc.ca/CETA.

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Contact Information

  • Media Relations
    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    613-773-7972
    1-866-345-7972

    Scott French
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Honourable Maxime Bernier
    Minister of State (Small Business and
    Tourism, and Agriculture)
    613-943-6183