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Economic opportunities growing for western barley farmers

Canada's malting industry will continue to work together to boost marketing and competitiveness abroad with the support of the Harper Government. Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced today an investment of over $575,000 to the Canadian malting barley industry and reiterated the Harper Government's commitment to expanding market opportunities and giving Western Canadian barley farmers the marketing freedom they want and deserve.

"Our Government's top priority remains the economy, and we continue to work hard to expand our markets abroad and invest in innovation here at home to boost our barley farmers' bottom lines," said Minister Ritz in conjunction with the Alberta Barley Commission's Annual General Meeting today in Banff. "Very soon, Western barley farmers will have marketing freedom and control over their own business and our Government is making sure they are in the best position to capture future market opportunities."

This AgriMarketing investment will enable the Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre, the Malting Industry Association of Canada and the Brewing and Malting Barley Research Institute to maintain existing markets through activities including technical marketing, communications, and the development of a Canadian Malt Barley Brand. The branding will help to highlight Canada's commitment to quality and allow the industry to use a consistent and common marketing strategy with foreign buyers.

The Marketing Freedom for Grain Farmers Act is currently before the Senate Committee. Once it receives royal assent, Western Canadian farmers and grain companies will be able to forward contract their wheat, durum and barley for delivery as of August 1, 2012 whether that's on an open market or voluntarily through the Canadian Wheat Board.

"We are committed to keeping Canada's barley industry strong by helping increase the export of Canada's safe, high-quality products around the world," said Minister Ritz. "Our Government is proud to support the excellent work of these organizations to help get Canada's top-quality barley into products and markets around the world."

Canadian malting barley is known around the world for its high quality and superior characteristics. Canadian exports of malting barley reached more than $312 million in 2010, accounting for almost a third of all malting barley exports.

by S. C.
10 december 2011, World News > America