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Canadian Agriculture Promoted at Winter Fair

07 November 2013

CANADA - Canadian producers and livestock farmers will benefit from increased investment in market development and the creation of new export opportunities.

Parliamentary Secretary Pierre Lemieux (Glengarry–Prescott–Russell), on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, has announced a Government of Canada investment of up to C$405 000 for the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair to help the agricultural industry remain competitive in the global marketplace.

"Our Government is making strategic investments to strengthen Canada's agricultural industry and boost sales in all areas of farming," said Parliamentary Secretary Lemieux.

"We are proud to partner with the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair and help show the world that Canada is a leader in agricultural excellence."

This investment from the AgriMarketing Program will enable the Fair to attract more international buyers in key foreign markets through the promotion of the event and its showcase of high-quality Canadian agriculture and agri-food products. The investment will also enhance the International Business Centre, a top business destination for the agriculture and livestock genetics industry, to provide a more professional environment where trade connections can be established.

"The Royal's ability to promote and grow national livestock shows and our ability to expand and enhance the experience of our international visitors is greatly strengthened by this support from the Government of Canada," said Sandra Banks, Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.

The investment follows Prime Minister Stephen Harper's 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 thousands of jobs and opportunities for Canadians. Upon entry into force, almost 94 per cent of EU agricultural tariff lines will be duty-free.

Now entering its 91st year, the Fair has a long history of attracting domestic and international participation by showcasing Canadian agriculture. The Fair draws more than 300 000 visitors annually and last year alone welcomed over 1400 international visitors and buyers from 53 countries. The many shows, activities, and breeding auctions generated C$2.1 million overall for Canadian livestock producers in 2012.

The AgriMarketing Program is a five-year, C$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 activities to help position and differentiate Canadian products and ensure industry's ability to meet market demands.

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 C$3 billion over five years in innovation, competitiveness, and market development.

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