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Minister Ritz Promotes Canadian Beef in Japan

18 November 2009

OSAKA, JAPAN - Canadian farmers produce the safest high-quality food in the world and Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz led a mission to Japan to create new export opportunities by meeting with newly elected officials and kickstarting the Brand Canada Initiative in Japan with an initial investment of $1 million.

“It was critical for us to get on the ground here in Japan to meet new government members within their first 100 days in office,” said Minister Ritz. “The discussions officials are having right now will set the agricultural agenda here for the long-term and we’re making sure agriculture remains a cornerstone of the strong trade relationship between Canada and Japan.”

Minister Ritz once again raised Canada’s long-standing request for greater access for Canadian beef in the Japanese market. Canadian beef is recognized as safe according to international scientific organizations such as the OIE. Access for Canadian beef exports to Japan are currently restricted to products from animals under 21 months of age.

Minister Ritz also announced an initial investment of $1 million to kickstart the Brand Canada Initiative in Japan. The announcement is part of the Canada’s global $32 million Brand Canada Initiative that will drive market research, advertising, store features and other promotional activities. This initiative is one more way Canada’s Economic Action Plan is working for Canadian farmers.

“Japanese families are looking for Canadian foods when they go to the grocery store and the Brand Canada Initiative will make sure they can find the maple leaf on the great products our farmers grow,” said Minister Ritz. “This kind of initiative can turn opportunities into realities with full order sheets and premium prices going back to Canadian producers.”

During the mission, Minister Ritz met with Alberta Provincial Agriculture Minister George Groeneveld who was leading a provincial delegation in Japan. "Japan is a vital market for Canadian farmers and we're working together at every level to create new opportunities," said Minister Ritz.

TheCattleSite News Desk


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