Canada's Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister, Lawrence MacAulay, has concluded his agricultural outreach mission to Europe. During his trip, he visited Spain, Belgium, and Italy.
"The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is providing increased market access for a wide range of our high-quality agricultural products," said MacAulay. "There are great opportunities available for our Canadian farmers and food processors in the European markets which will help strengthen our agriculture sector, grow our economy, and create more good paying jobs for Canadians."
In Brussels, he met with Phil Hogan, EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, and Vytenis Andriukaitis, EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, to discuss agricultural opportunities and approaches to resolving market access irritants.
In Spain, MacAulay had a bilateral meeting with the Spanish Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas. He also met with key agri-food investors and participated in industry roundtables.
In Italy, he led three roundtable discussions on trade: one with the Italian grain industry which included stakeholder groups from Canada, and two others with Italian farmer organizations. Italy's country of origin labeling on pasta was a key topic of discussion, as exports of Canadian durum have been severely limited since the requirements came into effect over a year ago.
In Rome, MacAulay met with José Graziano da Silva, Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), to discuss Canada's priorities and reiterate the need for the FAO to provide a neutral venue for engagement on challenging topics related to innovation in the agriculture sector.
Since the implementation of CETA one year ago, trade between Canada and the EU has increased by nearly 10%.