Grow­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for Cana­dian agri­cul­ture in China

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - Farm News - BY LAWRENCE MA­CAULAY, OPIN­ION Lawrence Ma­cAulay is the Cana­dian Min­is­ter of Agri­cul­ture and Agri-Food.

This week, I will be lead­ing my third ma­jor agri­cul­tural trade mis­sion to China, one of the most promis­ing mar­kets for our farm­ers and food pro­ces­sors.

This will be the largest agri­cul­tural trade mis­sion in Canada’s his­tory, and we are hop­ing to sur­pass the re­sults of our last agri­cul­tural trade mis­sion to China in 2017, which gen­er­ated over $300 mil­lion in new sales for Cana­dian food prod­ucts.

The Gov­ern­ment of Canada has made agri­cul­ture a core pri­or­ity, and a key part of that ef­fort is a pro­gres­sive trade agenda that is help­ing bring Canada’s top-qual­ity food prod­ucts to con­sumers around the globe.

Nearly 200,000 Cana­dian farm­ers and thou­sands of small to medium-sized agri-food en­trepreneur­s gen­er­ate over $100 bil­lion in rev­enue for the Cana­dian econ­omy. By tap­ping in to the Chi­nese mar­ket, we will cre­ate good qual­ity jobs at home and sup­port our ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties.

China is home to the world’s largest pop­u­la­tion and the world’s sec­ond-largest econ­omy, with a rapidly-grow­ing mid­dle class hun­gry for top-qual­ity agri­cul­ture and food prod­ucts. Our Cana­dian farm­ers, fish­ers, and food pro­ces­sors are ready to de­liver, of­fer­ing a wide range of high qual­ity, safe and sus­tain­able prod­ucts, from wild blue­ber­ries to canola to beef to lob­ster. Chi­nese cus­tomers rec­og­nize the value of Cana­dian prod­ucts, and our bi­lat­eral trade in agri­cul­ture, food and seafood prod­ucts has al­ready in­creased nearly 40% over the past four years to ap­proach $10 bil­lion. As im­pres­sive as these fig­ures are, we are only be­gin­ning to tap into the po­ten­tial that this part­ner­ship holds. Suc­cess de­pends on gov­ern­ment and busi­ness part­ners work­ing hand-in­hand. Last month, I wel­comed my friend, Chi­nese Min­is­ter of Agri­cul­ture and Ru­ral Af­fairs Han Changfu, to Ot­tawa and now I am head­ing back to China for the fifth time to ex­plore new op­por­tu­ni­ties for growth. I’m look­ing for­ward to work­ing with Min­is­ter Han and I will also be hon­oured to at­tend a din­ner with the Pres­i­dent of the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of China, Xi Jin­ping.

I’m trav­el­ling to China with a strong and di­verse del­e­ga­tion of over 300 peo­ple, in­clud­ing agri­cul­tural lead­ers from the ma­jor sec­tors of our in­dus­try and pro­vin­cial part­ners. Over the course of 10 days we will work to­gether to strengthen re­la­tion­ships that will grow our pres­ence in this vi­tal mar­ket. We will at­tend some ma­jor trade shows in Shang­hai, in­clud­ing the first-ever China In­ter­na­tional Im­port Expo and the Food and Ho­tel China show, as well as the China Fish­eries and Seafood Expo in Qing­dao, where Canada will have a strong group of ex­hibitors. We will sit down with our Chi­nese part­ners in gov­ern­ment and in­dus­try to ex­plore ways to ex­pand our trade, prod­uct by prod­uct, in­clud­ing through tools such as the e-com­merce mar­ket­place. China is al­ready the largest e-gro­cery mar­ket in the world, val­ued at over $20 bil­lion and grow­ing.

This is agri­cul­ture and food’s new fron­tier, where cus­tomers around the world can do their gro­cery shop­ping with the click of a but­ton. This mis­sion will help raise the pro­file of Cana­dian agri­cul­ture and con­tinue to build re­la­tion­ships with China’s grow­ing ecom­merce sec­tor, to help se­cure shelf space in the world’s vir­tual su­per­mar­ket for Cana­dian prod­ucts.

I will also join Min­is­ter of Fi­nance Bill Morneau and Min­is­ter of In­ter­na­tional Trade Di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion Jim Carr at the Canada-China Eco­nomic and Fi­nan­cial Strate­gic Di­a­logue to pro­mote bi­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion across a wide range of eco­nomic port­fo­lios, in­clud­ing agri­cul­ture. This mis­sion will also seek to build on the im­pres­sive growth that At­lantic ex­ports have seen in China. I will be joined by Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment from the At­lantic re­gion, in­clud­ing Pres­i­dent of the Trea­sury Board Scott Bri­son and Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­tary to the Min­is­ter of Tourism, Of­fi­cial Lan­guages and La Fran­co­phonie Alaina Lock­hart.

We will sit down with key buy­ers to help get more topqual­ity At­lantic prod­ucts onto din­ner ta­bles in this im­por­tant mar­ket. It’s part of the At­lantic Canada Op­por­tu­ni­ties Agency’s At­lantic Growth Strat­egy. This fed­eral strat­egy is sup­ported by the gov­ern­ments of Nova Sco­tia, New Bruns­wick, Prince Ed­ward Is­land, and New­found­land and Labrador, as part of pan-At­lantic Canada ef­forts to grow in­ter­na­tional trade and in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Ex­pand­ing our agri-food trade in key mar­kets like China is crit­i­cal to the long-term suc­cess of Cana­dian farm­ers and food pro­ces­sors. That is why we set a $75 bil­lion tar­get in agri­cul­tural ex­ports by 2025, and why we will con­tinue to work closely with in­dus­try to help them pro­vide con­sumers in China and around the world with qual­ity food, while cre­at­ing jobs and growth for Canada’s mid­dle class.

Fol­low our trip’s progress through my face­book and on twit­ter with #Cd­nAgMis­sion

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