The Federal Government will open a new Indo-Pacific Agriculture and Agri-Food Office.
The news was part of the wrap up comments following Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's participation in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic Leader's Meeting in Thailand.
$31.8 million to establish Canada’s first agriculture office in the region to increase and diversify agriculture and agri-food exports to the Indo-Pacific, strengthening trade on both sides of the Pacific.
Responding to the news the Canola Council of Canada, Cereals Canada, and Pulse Canada are pleased.
The three sectors represent over $45 billion in annual economic activity and support over 250,000 jobs.
The groups issued a statement talking about the importance of having an office in the region.
While Canada’s cereals, canola and pulse industries enjoy a significant export share within the region and there are great opportunities, the rise of non-tariff barriers may prevent Canada from achieving its full potential in the region. New resources to tackle sanitary and phytosanitary issues in a strategic, coordinated manner with industry will help maintain and build market access for Canada’s agriculture exports. We want to thank the federal government for recognizing the important role Canadian agriculture will play in growing exports in this region.
Canola Council of Canada President Jim Everson says its import because all three of their industries rely on exports.
"Ninety per cent of our canola that we grow in Canada is exported. So it's really critical that we have access to international markets. Some of the markets where there's the highest growth potential for us, as identified by our members are in the Asian Pacific area."
The industry has been pushing for an agriculture trade office in the area for some time.
Pulse Canada President Greg Cherewyk says from a pulse perspective its one of the most important areas for the pulse industry.
"Over 60 per cent of our pulse exports move into the Indo Pacific. That's 85 per cent for pea exports, over 40 per cent are lentil exports. So, it's incredibly significant from an export market perspective. It's really why we teamed up with our partners at the Canola Council and Cereals Canada over three years ago to highlight the importance of this region to the Government of Canada."
They agree it's important to have a representative on the ground in the region who can keep in touch with the decision-makers and regulators in that area.
They note they will continue to work together with others in the sector, and government to establish a Canadian Indo-Pacific Agriculture and Agri-Food Office focused on delivering results that Canadian agriculture needs to serve this valuable, growing region.