Today, representatives of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) met with Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz in Ottawa where he released the Agriculture and Agri-Food Market Access Report 2010-2011. In the report Minister Ritz along with International Trade Minister Ed Fast itemizes the many agricultural market access gains that have been achieved between January 2010 and March 2011.
The report highlights the importance of exports to Canada’s agriculture sector and underscores the potential for growth through expanded market access. Market access is a top priority for the CCA.
“Minister Ritz and Minister Fast really understand that our producers need market access and we thank them for working hard to create that access for us,” said CCA President Travis Toews.
“I appreciate the continued emphasis Minister Ritz and Minister Fast place on improving and maintaining market access for Canadian farmers and ranchers. With Canadian agriculture so dependent on exports, competitive market access is critical to our success,” he said.
Highlights in the report for the Canadian beef sector include the agreement with China on a process for opening their market to Canadian beef, the agreement for access to the European Union’s duty free, most-favoured-nation quota, and expansion of access to Russia.
The report also identifies a number of priority markets going forward, including the eight priority markets that the CCA has asked the Government to focus on, and states what the objective is in each.
Included in the ongoing priorities are negotiation of a Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement in 2012, resolution of the Country of Origin Labeling issue with the United States, obtaining access for Canadian beef to Korea, and expanding access to Japan, Russia and Mexico.
“I am pleased that the report sets out the priorities that remain to be addressed,” said Toews. “I am confident that both Ministers will continue to work very hard to have more positive results for next year’s report.”