CALGARY, July 21 /CNW/ - The Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance (CAFTA),
an alliance of farmers and processors who rely on the international markets
and export over $32 billion worth of agricultural products each year, applaud
the commitment of our Minister of International Trade and Minister of
Agriculture and Agri-Food to do their utmost to obtain a favourable deal at
the World Trade Organization Ministerial Meetings in Geneva and to stay until
a deal gets done.
A trade deal represents an additional $3 billion annually for farm
families, money that is currently being lost by an industry segment already
contributing $7 billion a year to Canada's agricultural trade balance.
Much of Canada's agricultural industry depends on exports, and market
access is vital. Stewart Gilroy, a farmer and Chairman of the Board of the
Canola Council of Canada - a sector that alone creates 216,000 jobs, involves
50,000 farm operations and has an impact of $14 billion on the Canadian
economy - has stated that survival depends on market access and failure to
reach a deal puts much at risk. "An aggressive pursuit of Canada's interests
is hugely important to these workers and their families," he says.
What might seem to be small percentage differences in trade negotiations
have huge implications for Canadian agriculture. A percentage change can mean
export expansion of a quarter of a million tonnes of wheat and almost 20,000
tonnes of pork into the EU, with equally important export expansion potential
for barley, beef and sugar, says Ross Ravelli, President of the Grain Growers
of Canada. "A deal is vital"
At a meeting with industry stakeholders on Monday the Ministers confirmed
that these are important objectives and said they were pleased to have this
input from the CAFTA representatives in Geneva. Representatives from the beef,
pork, sugar, grains and oilseeds industries will be meeting face to face with
Ministers Ritz and Fortier on Tuesday morning in Geneva to reiterate the
importance of a successful outcome to these negotiations, one that improves
market access for the benefit of the Canadian economy.
For further information:
For further information: To arrange an interview with the CAFTA
delegation in Geneva, contact: Cindy McCreath, (403) 615-1526,