Federal Government of Canada Invests $409,000 in Support of the Ongoing International Development Work of Equine Canada's Breeds & Industry Division



    OTTAWA, June 12 /CNW/ - Member of Parliament for Calgary Centre, Mr. Lee
Richardson, announced today on behalf of the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister
of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board, that
the federal government will invest $409,000 this year in support of the
ongoing international market development work of Equine Canada's Breeds &
Industry Division.
    "Canadian-bred horses are 'hardy stock' - they are bred and raised in an
agricultural environment, under Canada's stringent animal health regulations,"
said Mr. Richardson. "Canada's experienced horsemen, as well as our skills and
knowledge in herd and health management speaks to the high standards of our
industry. We produce some of the finest horses in the world, and Canada's New
Government is proud to help Equine Canada develop the brand and get the word
out there."
    The announcement was made during a National Horse Week networking
breakfast hosted by the Breeds & Industry Division at Spruce Meadows, in
Calgary, Alberta.
    "The partnership of industry and government to advance Canada's equine
sector as a producer of world-class horses is critical to the long-term
success of our value-added agriculture industry," said Equine Canada President
Al Patterson. "On behalf of the Breeds & Industry Division of Equine Canada
and its members, I wish to thank the Government of Canada for this funding
which the equine industry will match dollar for dollar for a total budget of
more than $800,000."
    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is providing funding through its
Agriculture and Food International (CAFI) program. The goal is for Canada to
gain international recognition as a world leader in supplying high quality,
safe and innovative products produced in an environmentally responsible and
sustainable manner. Opportunities are maximized by supporting industry action
to improve market access, build Canada's reputation, ensure an understanding
of the changing demands of the global marketplace, align domestic development
to meet these global market demands, and support international development.
    The funding invested by the federal government will be used in
47 projects spearheaded by 13 member breed associations participating in the
Equine Canada Export Market Development Strategy in 2007-2008 which aims to
"brand Canada" as a quality producer of horses suitable for racing, FEI and
non-FEI sport, breed specific competition, recreation and breeding. Projects
include the development of generic promotional materials for distribution
outside of Canada, attendance at international trade shows and meetings,
training in export preparedness, and the hosting of foreign delegates coming
to Canada to view Canadian-bred stock. The target markets include Australia,
Brazil, Chile, the Caribbean, France, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United Arab
Emirates, and the United States.
    "Canada's equine producers are committed to excellence," said Kim Berlie,
Equine Canada Director and Breeds & Industry Council member. "The Canadian
Agriculture and Food International (CAFI) program is a crucial component in
securing opportunities in the highly competitive international marketplace for
our producers," she added.
    The Breeds & Industry Division of Equine Canada is the national
"coalition" of equine breed associations and industry members. It provides a
forum for members to seek and exchange information between Equine Canada,
Canadian stakeholders, the Government of Canada and foreign entities, and it
helps to affect policy in the areas of equine health and industry developments
with the purpose of increasing the long-term profitability of Canada's equine
sector.

    Equine Canada is a member-based non-profit association that represents,
promotes and services Canada's equine community and industry. Its core areas
of activity involve sport, equine health and welfare, education and safety,
governance and marketing, representation and communication. Equine Canada is
recognized by Sport Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the
International Equestrian Federation (FEI), the Canadian Olympic Committee and
Canadian Coaching Association of Canada as the national organization
representing equestrian sport and equine interests in Canada. Visit
www.equinecanada.ca.


    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/




For further information:

For further information: Jessie Christie, Communications Coordinator,
Tel: (613) 248-3433 ext. 133, E-mail: jchristie@equinecanada.ca; Susan
Stewart, Equine Canada Breeds & Industry Division Coordinator, Export Market
Development, Tel: (613) 826-1155, Cell: (613) 286-9394, email:
sstewart@equinecanada.ca

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EQUINE CANADA

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