State Encourages Innovation04 December 2012
CANADA - Leading processors and producers from a cross-section of Canada's agricultural sector have met to identify ways to better work together in the development of a more effective and efficient supply chain.
Leading processors and producers from a cross-section of Canada's agricultural sector are meeting today to identify ways to better work together in the development of a more effective and efficient supply chain.
Co-hosted by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, the one-day Agri-Processors/Producers' Summit will increase the dialogue between processors, producers, and governments to strengthen Canada's food supply chain and help enhance the competitiveness of the sector.
"Our Government is transforming agricultural policy in Canada by focusing more on innovation, competitiveness, and market access," said Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. "By bringing processors and producers together in the same room, we are helping them to better understand one another's challenges and opportunities, ultimately improving their partnership, production, and the Canadian economy."
"Ontario supports innovation as the foundation for long-term profitability, competitiveness, and sustainability," said Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Ted McMeekin, who spoke at the opening of the Summit. "By working together, farmers and processors can leverage greater innovation, economic growth, and jobs for the sector and the province."
About 40 processors and producers, along with federal and provincial government officials, are discussing ways to make the agriculture industry more effective and efficient.
This Summit was organised following a commitment made by Ministers Ritz and McMeekin at the federal-provincial-territorial ministers of agriculture meeting in Whitehorse to bring producers and processors together to help continue the dialogue between the groups.
Canada's food and beverage processing sector is the country's largest manufacturing industry in terms of value of production, with shipments worth more than $92 billion.
It is also the largest manufacturing employer, providing jobs to 290,000 Canadians, and it is the primary buyer for Canadian farmers, who drove our economy with more than $40 billion in farm gate sales last year. Ontario accounts for about 36 per cent of the country's total employment in the sector.
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