The Government of Canada is making strategic investments in market development that will help Canadian grain growers access new global markets and increase sales abroad. Member of Parliament Earl Dreeshen (Red Deer), on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, announced an investment to the Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) to help Canada's grain industry remain competitive and prosperous. The announcement was made at the GGC Fall Board Meeting.
'Our government remains committed to helping Canadian farmers and processors get the support they need to access and become leaders in international markets,' said MP Dreeshen. 'This investment will work to ensure that grain producers are well positioned for long-term success by helping to increase their competitiveness and create new export opportunities.'
This $100 000 investment from the AgriMarketing Program will help the GGC develop and take advantage of new world markets through market development and promotional activities. This includes industry-to-industry trade advocacy, relationship building through branding initiatives, and attendance at international trade shows and conferences. The GGC will also use the funding to educate foreign industry associations and buyers about Canada's regulatory system that ensures wheat quantity and quality.
'Working with the provincial wheat commissions and the federal government using our strategic partnerships, Grain Growers is pleased to help coordinate a national wheat marketing plan in this transition phase,' said Stephen Vandervalk, GGC President. 'The trade mission work that will emerge from our plan will help Canada strengthen current wheat markets internationally and also help facilitate the development of new and emerging markets for wheat and wheat products.'
Canadian wheat is known for its high, uniform, and consistent quality, and it is exported worldwide. Canada produces 4 per cent of the world's wheat supply (30 million tonnes), and it is the third-largest wheat exporter in the world, exporting 70 per cent of its wheat production. In 2012, Canadian wheat brought $6 billion to the farm gate.
'With marketing changes that allow farmers to sell and market their own product, and an aggressive federal trade strategy, we see a new economic frontier of opportunity opening up for Canadian wheat farmers and the Canadian grain industry as a whole,' says Gary Stanford, Vice-President of the GGC and Director of the Alberta Wheat Commission. 'As farmers, we are competing globally, so we have a big job to do. The new wheat commissions are advancing forward as the fuel in the farmers' new economic engine. They are our new marketing tool to help communicate and explain to the world our high-protein Canadian wheat is the best in the world.'
Today's investment follows Prime Minister Stephen Harper's October announcement that Canada and the European Union (EU) have reached an agreement in principle on a comprehensive trade agreement that will significantly boost trade and investment ties between the two partners and create jobs and opportunities for Canadians. Under the new agreement, the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance is estimating new grains and oilseeds opportunities in Europe of $100 million a year.
The AgriMarketing Program is a five-year, $341-million initiative under Growing Forward 2. The Market Development stream seeks to build and promote Canada's ability to expand domestic and export markets by undertaking promotional activities to help position and differentiate Canadian products and producers, and ensure industry's ability to meet market requirements.
The new Growing Forward 2 policy framework, which came into effect on April 1, 2013, will continue to drive innovation and long-term growth in Canada. In addition to a generous suite of business risk management programs, governments have agreed to invest more than $3 billion over five years in innovation, competitiveness, and market development.
For more information on the Growing Forward 2 agreement and the AgriMarketing Program, please visit www.agr.gc.ca/growingforward2.