Canada’s forage and grassland industry will increase its international competitiveness with an investment from the Harper government, Brandon-Souris Conservative MP Merv Tweed said Wednesday.
The money is going to the Canadian Forage and Grassland Association, and was announced as members of the CFGA meet in Mississauga, Ont., for a two-day conference focusing on innovation in the forage and grassland sectors.
“By helping expand market access for Canada’s top-quality products, this investment will strengthen our economy and enhance our farmers’ reputations as premier suppliers of world-class forage,” said Tweed, who is chairman of the agriculture and agri-food House of Commons standing committee.
This investment of more than $51,000 will enable the CFGA to conduct innovative marketing and communications activities in new and existing markets to help increase the competitiveness of the Canadian forage and grassland industry.
The CFGA will develop promotion and information packages for international buyers, prepare market development display materials, and participate in international trade shows.
“With opportunities for Canadian forage products expanding worldwide, there is an increasing need for the CFGA to work on the development of these markets,” said CFGA executive director Wayne Digby of Brandon.
“Support provided through the AgriMarketing Program has helped us work on a number of areas, including timothy and alfalfa protocol for exporting to China, U.S. market development through the World Dairy Expo, and the training of forage exporters so that they are ‘market ready,’” Digby said.
“With the support of the AgriMarketing Program, we are able to zero in on priority markets and really make a difference.”
Canada’s forage industry is internationally recognized because of its world-class processing facilities, clean, natural growing environments, and leading-edge infrastructure for transportation.
In 2011, Canada exported more than $111 million in hay and forage products to more than 20 countries. Canada is the fourth-largest exporter of forages in the world and has approximately four per cent of the world market share.