Ritz leads delegation to China

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz is hoping some face time with Chinese officials will help boost Canadian agriculture exports to that burgeoning market. Ritz is to lead a delegation of more than 30 agricultural groups and officials from four provinces to China next week. They’ll be talking about expanding trade access and boosting Canadian agricultural products.

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz is hoping some face time with Chinese officials will help boost Canadian agriculture exports to that burgeoning market. Ritz is to lead a delegation of more than 30 agricultural groups and officials from four provinces to China next week. They’ll be talking about expanding trade access and boosting Canadian agricultural products.

China accounted for more than $5.6 billion in Canadian agri-food and seafood exports in 2013, but Ritz says there’s more work to do.

“Oh, quite a bit more,” he said. “I mean that still only represents five per cent of China’s imports, so we know that we can double or triple that number, which certainly would be good for Canadian producers and processors.”

Ritz points out that canola sales, including both seed and oil, reached $2.7 billion in 2013. The minister also hopes to soon see meat shipments expanded. Currently, only boneless beef from animals under 30 months is allowed.

“We hope to expand that in a staged way, as we did through Hong Kong, to get the bone-in under 30 months in the next short while. So that’s what we’ll be putting pressure on moving forward there.” That breakthrough is needed to send a signal to producers and others, he said.

“As we see country-of-origin (labelling) being promoted and carried on by the U.S. administration, it’s incumbent on the federal government and our livestock sector to look for other markets that actually help keep the Americans honest.”

U.S. rules on country-of-origin labels, introduced in 2002 and enforced since 2008, are blamed for reducing Canadian cross-border meat exports by half. Some U.S. companies have said they can’t afford to sort, label and store meat from Canada differently than meat from domestic animals.

Industry groups argue the information is of no real value to the consumer. Opponents also say the rules violate free-trade agreements.

Ritz is also to deliver a keynote address to delegates of the World Meat Congress in Beijing.

Just Posted

Bentley family left without a home grateful for community support

Central Albertans are coming together to support a Bentley family left homeless… Continue reading

‘My nightmare began again’: Close call as bus carrying Humboldt crash survivor rear-ended

CALGARY — A terrifying ordeal for Humboldt Broncos survivor Ryan Straschnitzki this… Continue reading

Annual pace of housing starts picked up in November, tops expectations

OTTAWA — Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says the annual pace of… Continue reading

China pressures US, Canada ahead of Huawei hearing

BEIJING — China raised the pressure on the United States and Canada… Continue reading

Equalization formula a hot topic as finance ministers meet

OTTAWA — For the first time in a decade Ontario will not… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer and District Kennel Club Dog Show at Westerner Park

The Red Deer and District Kennel Club is holding a dog show… Continue reading

Orlando SC acquires Canadian Tesho Akindele in trade with FC Dallas for cash

ORLANDO, Fla. — Canadian forward Tesho Akindele was traded to Orlando City… Continue reading

Koskinen notches third shutout, McDavid gets winner as Oilers blank Flames 1-0

EDMONTON — The Edmonton Oilers appear to have shored up their defence… Continue reading

Beyonce performs at pre-wedding party in India

Beyonce brought her star power to a pre-wedding party for the daughter… Continue reading

Kirk Douglas celebrates 102nd birthday

LOS ANGELES — Actor Kirk Douglas got to celebrate his 102nd birthday… Continue reading

Ellen Page steps up attack on Nova Scotia pulp mill’s effluent pipeline

HALIFAX — Hollywood actor Ellen Page is doubling down on her criticism… Continue reading

Pence aide out of running to be Trump’s next chief of staff

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s top pick to replace chief of staff… Continue reading

Swath of South faces wintry mess: Snow, sleet, freezing rain

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A massive storm brought snow, sleet, and freezing rain… Continue reading

‘I killed my best friend’: Opioids’ fatal grip on mayor, pal

MOUNT CARBON, Pa. — Janel Firestone found her son — the 24-year-old,… Continue reading

Most Read