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Canada govt helps grain sector explore trade opportunities

Canada's seed industry is getting a boost to its efforts to promote trade and reduce non-tariff trade barriers thanks to an investment by the Government of Canada.

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced an investment of more than CAD$100,000 (€71,000) for the Canadian Seed Trade Association at the organization's semi-annual meeting.

"The Government's top priority remains the economy," said Minister Ritz. "Canada's seed and grain industry plays an important role in creating jobs, increasing trade and keeping our economy strong."

The investment will support the Canadian Seed Trade Association's (CSTA) work on the world stage to develop international consensus on issues that affect the trade of seed, as well as working with foreign regulators and policy-makers to reduce non-tariff barriers to trade. This will lead to improving the international rules governing the trade of seed and set the foundation for increased export sales for Canadian producers.

"Canada is the world's fifth largest exporter of seed, and there is tremendous potential to expand markets. A lot of great work has been done in partnership with government over the years to reduce and eliminate tariffs and subsidies, but our industry is increasingly plagued with non-tariff barriers to trade," said (CSTA) President Peter Entz. " (CSTA) is playing a leading role in the international seed industry to address these barriers. The support from the Government of Canada will help us to continue and increase these efforts."

(CSTA) is a non-profit association that represents a broad cross-section of Canadian businesses that research, produce and market seed, both domestically and internationally. Members range from those who market garden seed and herbs to large grain handlers and multinational seed companies. CSTA's mission is to foster seed innovation and trade.

The investment follows Prime Minister Stephen Harper's announcement that Canada and the European Union (EU) have reached an agreement in principle on a comprehensive economic trade agreement that will significantly boost trade and investment ties between the two partners, and create jobs and opportunities for Canadians. Upon entry into force, almost 94% of EU agricultural tariff lines will be duty-free.

As well as benefiting Canada's seed exports, this agreement will support the industry's work through the AgriMarketing investment on non-tariff trade barriers, with new mechanisms for preventing and resolving trade challenges relating to plant health issues.

This investment is part of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's AgriMarketing Program, a five-year, $341-million (€242 million) initiative under Growing Forward 2. The Market Development stream of the program seeks to build and promote Canada's ability to expand domestic and export markets by undertaking promotional activities to help position and differentiate Canadian products and producers, and ensure industry's ability to meet market requirements.

The new Growing Forward 2 policy framework, which came into effect on April 1, 2013, will continue to drive innovation and long-term growth in Canada. In addition to a generous suite of business risk management programs, governments have agreed to invest more than $3 billion over five years in innovation, competitiveness, and market development.

For more information on the Growing Forward 2 agreement and the AgriMarketing Program, please visit .

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