CANADA - Canada this week made an announcement to contribute an additional $1 million to international bodies that develop the standards for food safety and plant protection.
Lawrence MacAulay, Canada's Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, told FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva of the decision while both leaders were in Berlin attending high-level meetings including Sunday's meeting of agriculture ministers from the G20 countries.
The new investment will go towards the scientific and technical work of the Codex Alimentarius, which develops the standards for food safety, the International Plant Protection Convention, and the World Organisation for Animal Health for their efforts to promote a safe, fair and science-based trading environment.
"The meeting confirmed the good relations between FAO and Canada on issues of mutual interest and the global challenges we face in combating hunger and malnutrition," Mr Graziano da Silva said. Topics as gender and biotechnology were addressed as of particular interest to Canada.
The new contribution was announced shortly after the Berlin Agriculture Ministers' Conference, where agricultural ministers from around the world endorsed a communiqué that identified steps that countries can take in reducing agriculture's impact on water quality and quantity, and increase access to water.
Canada's policy commitments
Canada, one of the top 10 country contributors to FAO in 2016, is strongly committed to a clean and sustainable water supply, to sharing information and technology allowing farmers to increase production, and to taking action on antimicrobial resistance, Mr MacAulay emphasized at the G20 meeting. He along with other G20 ministers made a joint declaration emphasizing that fostering sustainability and advancing innovation are essential to bolster food security and access to water.
"Canada fully supports the strong focus of G20 agriculture ministers on sustainable water use, antimicrobial resistance and research and innovation," Mr MacAulay said.
Canada's combined agriculture and seafood bilateral trade with G20 partners totalled $108.9 billion in 2015.
It is the world's largest exporter of pulses, the protein-rich nutritious legumes whose cultivation can boost soil health. Joyce Boye, a researcher for the Canadian ministry, is one of FAO's special ambassadors for the International Year of Pulses.
The value of global trade in food has nearly tripled over the last decade according to FAO's State of Commodity Markets, underscoring the importance of science-based standards for food safety and trade.
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