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Harper Government Supports Canadian Grain Industry

OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 11/22/12 -- The Harper Government is helping the grain industry enhance its competitiveness at home and abroad. David Anderson, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board and Member of Parliament (Cypress Hills-Grasslands), on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, announced today an investment to help grain producers strengthen their production practices, increase access to global markets, and improve on-farm food safety.

"Our Government is committed to finding new opportunities for farmers and food processors," said MP Anderson. "We are helping to ensure that grain producers are well positioned for long-term success by helping to increase their competitiveness and create new export opportunities."

The Government's support for the grain industry is being reinforced with three targeted investments:


--  $87,000 in Canadian Integrated Food Safety Initiative (CIFSI) funding to
    the Canada Grains Council to update ExcelGrains Canada's food safety
    system for grains and oilseeds to include the latest best practices in
    food safety. This system is based on Hazard Analysis Critical Control
    Point (HACCP) material, which outlines step-by-step food safety
    standards that help to reduce the risk of food-borne illness. 
--  $71,000 in AgriMarketing funding to the Canada Grains Council to
    implement its long-term market access international strategy, which
    includes industry-to-industry trade meetings to encourage the removal of
    non-tariff trade barriers in global markets. These efforts will increase
    market opportunities for stakeholders throughout the value chain and
    help build relationships with new and existing buyers to increase
    exports. 
--  $50,000 in AgriMarketing funding to the Grain Growers of Canada to
    develop and take advantage of new world markets through market
    development and promotional activities. The funding will also be used to
    forge new relationships with foreign industry associations and buyers by
    educating them about Canada's ongoing superior regulatory system that
    ensures grain quantity and quality.

"The ability to confirm the safety of Canadian grain and the removal of non-tariff trade barriers are vital to improved market opportunities for all stakeholders along the supply chain," said Jean-Marc Ruest, Chairman of the Canada Grains Council. "The Grains Council appreciates not only the financial support from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada but also the personal leadership of Minister Ritz internationally in encouraging governments to remove non-tariff trade policies to minimize potential trade disruptions to Canadian grain exports."

"It's a fast-paced marketplace out there, and our major competitors are working hard to sell their wheat as well," said Richard Phillips, Executive Director of the Grain Growers of Canada. "Thanks to Minister Ritz and the Government, our trade access has never been better and we are maintaining existing and adding new markets every year for our wheat."

The federal Growing Forward investment made through the CIFSI helps organizations develop national, government-recognized on-farm and/or post-farm HACCP or HACCP-based food safety systems. To find out more about this initiative, please visit www.agr.gc.ca/cifsi.

Through the AgriMarketing Program under Growing Forward, the Harper Government is investing $88 million to help industry implement long-term international strategies, including international market development, industry-to-industry trade advocacy, and consumer awareness and branding activities. To find out more about the AgriMarketing Program, please visit www.agr.gc.ca/agrimarketing.

The Harper Government has identified market development and market access as priorities 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.

Contacts:
Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
613-773-7972
1-866-345-7972

Jeff English
Press Secretary
The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
613-773-1059
jeff.english@agr.gc.ca

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