Minister Ritz promotes agricultural trade in Japan
Tokyo, Japan, March 7, 2013 - Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz concluded his fourth successful trade mission to Japan where he promoted world-class Canadian food and agriculture.
"The Harper Government is focused on what matters to Canadians - jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. Thanks to the newly expanded beef access, Canadian beef producers will be able to gain and maintain broader access to diverse markets, increase Canadian exports and continue to bolster the Canadian economy." said Minister Ritz. "Since February, a larger selection of Canadian beef is now available in Japan throughout the year and this bodes well for our continued development of trade with our Japanese partners."
On January 28, Canada welcomed a science-based decision by Japan that expands market access to Canadian beef from cattle under 30 months of age (UTM) - an improvement over the previous requirement which only permitted beef exports from animals under 21 months of age. This expanded access is expected to double the potential market value of Canadian beef exports to Japan, reaching up to $150 million annually.
In Tokyo, Minister Ritz met with the recently-appointed Minister of Agriculture to discuss agricultural trade issues. Minister Ritz underscored Canada and Japan's long-standing agricultural partnership and reiterated Canada's commitment to further deepening this relationship through an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), which would provide additional export opportunities for Canadian businesses.
"An EPA would allow for optimum growth of the Canada- Japan trading relationship and we look forward to the next round of negotiations," said Minister Ritz. "The strengthening of this relationship will bring significant benefit for Canadian producers."
During his mission to Japan, Minister Ritz was joined once again by an industry delegation which included representatives from the cattle, beef, pork, canola, grains and wheat sectors.
While in Japan, Minister Ritz also visited the Canada Pavilion at FoodEx, the largest food and beverage trade show in Asia, to support the Canadian agricultural industry and promote its top-quality food products. FoodEx is a crucial forum for Canadian businesses to foster trade and sales opportunities and to meet and forge relationships with potential new customers. This year, a diverse group of 23 exhibitors representing many of Canada's agricultural sectors, from beef to beer to berries, were part of the Canada Pavilion. Canada has had a formal presence at this trade show for 31 years which has proven to be a valuable showcase for Canadian industry. In 2012, exhibitors reported on-site and anticipated sales of $16.3 million as a direct result of their participation in FoodEx, meaning that for every dollar invested by the Canadian Government in this trade show, $65 in sales were generated.
In 2012, Canada's agricultural exports to Japan totalled $4.2 billion and included mainly grains and oilseeds (e.g. canola, wheat, and soybeans), pork, and fish and seafood (e.g. crab, shrimp, halibut, fish roes, lobster and salmon). Canada is the top supplier of canola to Japan with nearly $1.5 billion in canola seeds imported from Canada in 2012.
For more information, media may contact:
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
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