18 juin 1998

A number of major agri-food exporters met with Federal Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister, Lyle Vanclief, and senior trade officials in Ottawa on June 11th to announce he formation of the Canadian Alliance of Agri-Food Exporters. This diverse group from sectors including red meat, oilseeds, barley malts, grains and sugar, joined together out of a common interest in promoting freer and more open trade in the upcoming round of World Trade Organization negotiations.

Immediately following the meetings in Ottawa, the Alliance released its Position Paper on International Trade. While the Alliance acknowledges that progress is being made to enhance exports of agri-food products, many exports continue to be constrained by trade barriers. Future gains will depend on Canada's support for achieving major (and secure) gains in access to key export markets.

Together, the ten members of the alliance conduct almost $30 billion in business annually, accounting for hundreds of thousands of Canadian jobs and more than $18 billion in exports. (Copies of Alliance Position Paper available on request.)

Major changes in sugar industry in Canada

A series of changes announced recently by Canadian sugar companies demonstrate a commitment to a globally competitive sugar industry.

Last month Lantic Sugar announced a $65 million expansion program at its Montreal sugar refinery and the planned closure of its refining operation in Saint John NB. At the same time, Rogers Sugar is completing its $40 million investment to upgrade and expand its beet sugar facility in Taber Alberta. According to Gregory Hoskins, President and CEO of Lantic Sugar, "These changes are part of an ongoing rationalization program linked to current market realities, notably limited U.S. market access, as well as the need to position our companies to be the lowest cost sugar refiners in North America."

Redpath Sugar also has announced major changes to its management structure as part of Tate & Lyle' PLC's North American restructuring. Among the various changes Redpath President Andrew Ferrier, was named President and CEO, North American Sugar for Tate & Lyle. Mr. Ferrier will maintain his office at Redpath in Toronto. Redpath recently completed its own $40 million expansion and modernization of its Toronto refinery.