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Canada: Gov. invests to develop markets for agri-food

The Government of Canada is helping producers and agri-food exporters penetrate new markets by increasing the visibility of Canadian premium products internationally.

The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture), was pleased to announce the investment of up to $1.5 million in support of these efforts.

"Our government places the economy at the top of the priority list, and supporting the development of international trade creates jobs and keeps our economy strong," said Minister Paradis. "By helping industry get the tools needed to enter new international markets, our government is creating opportunities for Canadian agri-food exporters to develop and thrive."|

With nearly 400 members, the Agri-Food Export Group Québec–Canada, founded in 1990, is the largest Canadian association of agri-food exporters delivering quality international market development services. The association will receive up to $1.5 million for 2012–13 to provide training to members on export expansion in new and existing markets and to undertake buyers' missions, trade meetings, and trade shows. The investment will also serve to develop promotional material, information kits, and strategic alliances abroad.

"The Canadian economy is doing well, and several projects are under way to modernize our factories and maintain our ability to compete in international markets. This AgriMarketing Program contribution, announced today by Minister Paradis, not only allows our entrepreneurs to assert an aggressive presence in these markets but also provides an invaluable lever for conducting our business," said André Coutu, Chief Executive Officer of the Export Group.

The food and beverage processing industry is Canada's largest manufacturing industry in terms of value of production, as well as the largest manufacturing employer, providing jobs for 290,000 Canadians. Exports of processed food and beverage products were worth $23.3 billion in 2011, an increase of 12 per cent from 2010, and reached some 190 countries.

Through the AgriMarketing Program under Growing Forward, the Government of Canada is investing $88 million to help industry implement long-term international strategies, including activities such as international market development, industry-to-industry trade advocacy, and consumer awareness and branding.

The Government of Canada has identified market development as a priority under Growing Forward 2, and this announcement is another example of what is being done to enhance competitiveness and drive innovation and long-term growth in Canadian agriculture. For over 15 years, the Government of Canada has proudly supported the promotion and development activities of the Agri-Food Export Group Québec–Canada.

To find out more about the AgriMarketing Program or the Canada Brand international strategy, visit www.agr.gc.ca/agrimarketing or www.marquecanadabrand.agr.gc.ca.

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