Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

December 05, 2013 21:20 ET

Minister Ritz Grows Agricultural Trade Relationships in South-East Asia

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Dec. 5, 2013) - Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz has completed a successful agricultural trade mission to Vietnam, where he secured confirmation that the country's largest dairy plant operator, TH Milk, is negotiating a deal to buy 10 000 Canadian dairy cattle. This represents the largest single order to Asia and the largest order for Canadian dairy cattle since 2003.

"Our government is pleased to have been able to help advance this exciting trade opportunity for our hardworking cattle producers," said Minister Ritz. "Vietnam holds great potential for growth in the dairy sector, and it is no surprise that Canadian dairy cattle are being eyed for this deal given their world renowned recognition for superior quality."

This order is a result of on-going market development in Vietnam by the Canadian Livestock Genetics Association (CLGA) and the Government of Canada. Industry estimates this new sale to be worth up to an additional $20M for Canadian dairy farmers. According to Michael Hall, Executive Director of CLGA, "this is another example of the results Minister Ritz has obtained for the Canadian dairy industry. An order of this magnitude is excellent news for our industry and demonstrates confidence in our national herd and the high regard for Canadian dairy genetics."

During his meeting with TH Milk, Minister Ritz noted the high quality of Canadian cattle and livestock genetics, and mentioned that Canada's animal feed industry can also work with Vietnam to develop optimal feed products for local herds. This is being done as part of Canada's efforts to develop markets around the world for Canadian products, while defending the supply management system, as indicated in the Speech from the Throne.

Minister Ritz held multiple meetings in Vietnam, including bilateral discussions with the Vietnamese Agriculture Minister, the Chief Trade Negotiator, and the Deputy Prime Minister. Minister Ritz used these discussions to emphasize the positive bilateral trading relationship in agriculture, confirm resolution on a long-standing market access issue regarding live Canadian seafood exports, highlight Canada and Vietnam's science-based approach to trade, as well as discuss the state of play in multilateral trade negotiations including the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The Minister also served up some high quality Canadian beef to local Vietnamese media at Don's Bistro in Hanoi as part of a cooking demonstration to promote Canadian food products. Canada and Vietnam are celebrating 40 years of diplomatic relations and a growing economic relationship as well. Canada's agriculture, food and seafood trade with Vietnam has more than doubled over the past two years to $152 million.

Minister Ritz then attended the WTO ministerial meetings in Bali, Indonesia, including a Cairns Group Ministerial Meeting to discuss common agricultural trade and trade policy issues. Minister Ritz raised the importance of developing a global approach on Low-Level Presence and highlighted the need for countries to continue to make use of science-based trading policies.

"Free and unfettered trade rooted in sound science and multilateral trade rules continues to be the best way to strengthen the farm gate, grow our economy and feed the world," said Minister Ritz. "By creating trade and business opportunities in Asia and around the world, we are increasing farmers' profitability and contributing to the economic growth of our countries."

Minister Ritz also met with Ministers from some of Canada's key trading partners, including South Korea, Israel, the European Union, Indonesia, Morocco, Russia, Japan, Kazakhstan, and Mexico to raise market access issues of interest to Canadian farmers. Minister Ritz used the opportunity to ensure Canada and Mexico will continue to work together pressure lawmakers in the United States to end discriminatory mandatory Country of Origin Labelling.

Contact Information

  • Media Relations
    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
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    Jeff English
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
    Minister of Agriculture
    613-773-1059