October 10, 2012

Media Release: Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance

Ottawa, October 10, 2012 — Canada’s agri-food leaders call on the federal government to conclude a trade deal with the European Union that delivers real value to Canada’s agri-food sectors.

In a meeting today, the board of directors of the Canadian Agri-food Trade Alliance met with Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food, to discuss Canada’s ambitious trade program.

Canada’s agri-food leaders applauded the government’s commitment to trade and thanked the Minister for his leadership in championing issues facing Canada’s agri-food sectors. CAFTA members also highlighted the need for any trade deal that Canada enters into to include an ambitious agriculture package.

“A solid agriculture package is critical to the success of the CETA. With a successful deal, agri-food exports to the EU could grow by $3 billion,” said CAFTA President Richard Phillips. “This deal will be of value to Canada if it offers real and consistent access to the EU market for key agri-food products including beef, pork, canola and sugar/sugar containing products.”

Canada currently exports half of its agriculture and food products including 50% of its beef production, 65% of its malt, two-thirds of its pork, almost 75% of its wheat and 85% of its canola. CAFTA members represent 80% of Canada’s agri-food exports.

“As an industry, we continue to enthusiastically support the CETA negotiations,” said CAFTA Executive Director Kathleen Sullivan. “But we urge the EU to remain ambitious, open its market to Canadian agriculture and food products and address issues that block trade.”

CAFTA is a coalition of national and regional organizations which support a more open and fair international trading environment for agriculture and agri-food. CAFTA’s members include producer organizations, processors, marketers and exporters from the major trade dependent sectors in Canada. Together, these sectors produce almost 80% of Canada's agriculture and agri-food exports, conduct about $40 billion in business annually and directly employ close to 500,000 Canadians.

The Canadian Sugar Institute is a member of CAFTA.