OTTAWA, ONTARIO, CANADA – Canada is growing and promoting trade for its farmers and food processors with the intention to help ensure a strong and vibrant agricultural sector with good middle-class jobs.

Lawrence MacAulay, the Canadian Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, continued his European agricultural trade mission, concluding G7 agricultural meetings in Bergamo, Italy, as well as a series of bilateral meetings with E.U. officials while in Belgium.

ILawrence MacAulay, the Canadian Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.
“The G7 Agricultural Ministers’ Meeting allows us to discuss and build consensus around some of today’s most challenging issues,” MacAulay said. “This year, ministers agreed that the best way to fight world hunger is to strengthen the family farm through stronger risk management for farmers; a stronger role for farmers in the food chain — especially for young farmers and women; and open, inclusive trade.”

The G7 nations include Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, France, Germany, Italy and Japan. These nations contain 10.3% of the world’s population, and are responsible for 34% of the world’s exports.

In Bergamo, MacAulay and his G7 counterparts endorsed a communiqué following two days of plenary sessions, where they discussed issues ranging from agricultural risk management practices to food security and migration — building a solid foundation for their upcoming World Food Day sessions and celebrations in Rome.

MacAulay held bilateral meetings with his agriculture counterparts from the E.U., Italy and Germany. The meetings focused on discussing issues of interest to the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector, as well as the importance of trade.

In Parma, the minister conducted market development activities. In Belgium, he met with European Commission Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, Jyrki Katainen, as well as with E.U. Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis, where he brought up opportunities and the way forward for the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector in a post-CETA Europe. MacAulay also met with European industry associations, including European Livestock and Meat Trades Union, COCERAL and Fediol, before touring the Port of Antwerp, a major hub for Europe-bound agriculture goods from Canada.

The purposes of trade mission discussions are to make sure Canadian farmers are represented well abroad while creating more opportunities for the middle-class within the agriculture and agri-food sector.

MacAulay continues his agricultural trade mission in Rome, where he will give remarks at the United Nations’ World Food Day ceremonies attended by Pope Francis.