GENEVA, July 21 /CNW Telbec/ - Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food,
Gerry Ritz, and Minister of International Trade, Michael Fortier, met with
representatives of the five national supply management organizations this
morning in Geneva, as the WTO ministerial meeting commenced.
The Ministers reiterated their strong commitment to pursue no cuts in
over quota tariffs and no increases in market access for supply management
commodities this week in Geneva. The Ministers presented this position not
only as the mandate of the government, but as that of the Canadian Parliament.
This message has been consistently delivered for the last several months and
is well known by WTO member countries with which Canada is negotiating.
"We were pleased to see that the government is unwavering in its
determination to deliver on its position for dairy, poultry and egg farmers
and our industries in Canada," commented Laurent Souligny, Chair of the
Canadian Egg Marketing Agency.
There remain several unresolved issues of importance to supply management
within the sensitive products category of the market access pillar of the
negotiations. According to Gyslain Loyer, Chair of Canadian Hatching Egg
Producers, "these issues are tightly intertwined and each must be resolved in
a manner that preserves the integrity of the measures needed to maintain
efficient supply management systems in Canada."
While this is the first WTO ministerial meeting for both Ministers,
Jacques Laforge, President of Dairy Farmers of Canada stated that "the
Ministers are knowledgeable of the issues and we all have full confidence in
the Ministers and their approach to the negotiations at this critical
While prospects for an agreement this week are unclear, the importance of
this ministerial meeting is underscored by the presence of the full Canadian
negotiating team and provincial Agriculture Ministers from across the country.
Representatives of supply management commodities are also in Geneva this
week to support the government's stance in order to ensure a successful
outcome for our producers and our sectors.
For further information:
For further information: Shelley Crabtree, Dairy Farmers of Canada,
(613) 236-9997 ext. 257; Marty Brett, Chicken Farmers of Canada, (613)