Ottawa, Ontario -- Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz represented the interests of Canadian farmers and met with key trading partners attending the 6th Berlin Agriculture Ministers’ Summit at the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture during International Green Week.
In addressing the Summit, Minister Ritz called for a science-based approach to regulation to secure access to food, increase rural incomes, and attract investment. The Minister encouraged countries to attend a meeting being held by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in early 2014 to raise awareness of the impacts of certain regulations on trade.
In addition to the Summit, Minister Ritz held bilateral meetings with a number of countries including his counterparts from Russia, the European Union (EU), Germany, and the United Kingdom (UK) to raise market access issues of interest to Canadian farmers and to discuss outstanding market access issues and bilateral co-operation.
Minister Ritz discussed the mutual benefits of the Canada-EU free trade agreement with European ministers and with European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Dacian Cioloş. Ministers were united on the importance of the agreement as farmers on both sides could see benefits from this historic trade deal.
Minister Ritz met for the first time with his new German counterpart, Minister of Food and Agriculture Hans Peter Friedrich, and discussed the benefits of biotechnology and the importance of a science-based approach to regulations. Minister Ritz and his counterpart from the UK, the Rt. Hon. Owen Paterson, agreed that biotechnology holds the key to Canadian and European farmers being able to feed a growing world. The Ministers from the UK and Germany both welcomed the Canada-EU free trade agreement and highlighted the benefits it will have to farmers and the rural economy in Canada and the EU.
- Industry estimates that, once ratified, the Canada-EU trade agreement will contribute an additional $1.5 billion annually to Canadian agriculture.
- In 2012, Canadian agricultural exports, not including fish and seafood, were $2.4 billion to the EU 27; $278 million to Germany, and $274 million to the UK.