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Celebrated the 15th anniversary of the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance

As Canadian farmers and food processors enjoy record export sales and strong global demand, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz joined with some of Canada's key agriculture and food exporters to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance (CAFTA).

"The Harper Government is proud to work in close partnership with CAFTA as we continue to create new market opportunities for the Canadian agriculture and food industry," said Minister Ritz. "It is through strong relationships such as this that we are opening, reopening and expanding export markets around the world to help farmers earn their money from the marketplace, not the mailbox."

Global markets play an important role for Canada's agriculture and food sector, with many producers and processors exporting from 50 to 85 per cent of their production. This is why the Harper Government has made international trade a key priority, underscoring it once again in Economic Action Plan 2012.

CAFTA is a leading industry advocate of Canada's ambitious trade negotiating agenda, and is a key partner as the Harper Government builds new and deeper trading relationships with major economies around the world. Minister Ritz thanked CAFTA for its strong support in opening new markets and establishing rules and science-based approaches to trade. The Harper Government has concluded free trade agreements with 9 countries in less than 6 years, and is currently negotiating agreements with more than 50 countries, including major customers such as the European Union, India and Japan.

"Together with CAFTA, we will keep up the full-court press to make sure that producers have access to burgeoning markets around the world," said Minister Ritz. "CAFTA's straightforward and prioritized approach will continue to serve Canadian producers and processors well-into the next 15 years and beyond."

In 2011, Canada reached a new record of exporting $44 billion in agriculture, food and seafood, with significant increases in key markets such as South Korea, Russia and India, plus record levels for pork and processed foods.

by S. C.
15 may 2012, World News > America

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