ARCHIVED - Government of Canada Helps Raise Ontario's Agricultural Profile Abroad

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Parliamentary Secretary Lemieux announces investments at Royal Agricultural Winter Fair

Toronto, Ontario, November 10, 2011 - The Government of Canada is helping Ontario farmers boost sales and enhance competitiveness abroad with investments of more than $1 million. Pierre Lemieux, Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture and Agri-Food, made the announcement today at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz.

Now entering its 89th year, the fair has a long history of attracting international participation by showcasing Ontario's farm exports. Last year, approximately 1,000 international visitors and buyers representing more than 60 countries attended the Royal, with sales to international buyers reaching about $1 million.

The investments include $650,000 to support traceability initiatives in Ontario's livestock sector, $250,000 for poultry and wheat farmers to increase their exports, and $150,000 through the AgriMarketing Program to promote the fair internationally and establish the International Business Centre. The Business Centre provides Canadian farmers with a professional, business-friendly environment to meet with national and international buyers.

The Chicken Farmers of Ontario is receiving $120,000 through the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP) to enhance the readiness of Ontario's poultry farmers to contain any potential disease outbreak. Another $130,000 is being provided under the same program to Wing's Food Products of Toronto, to enable Ontario wheat growers to market their produce to North American noodle and cookie makers and other foreign markets. Both these investments, delivered through the Agricultural Adaptation Council in Ontario, will help poultry and wheat farmers boost their export potential.

The Government has so far committed $650,000 under the Livestock Auction Traceability Initiative (LATI) towards 29 projects in Ontario that help the livestock sector become more competitive in international markets by supporting traceability capabilities. The implementation of a traceability system will greatly benefit Canadian farmers by enhancing Canada's ability to support animal health management, food safety and international market access.

For more information, media may contact:

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario

Meagan Murdoch
Director of Communications
The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz

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