Minister Bibeau concludes successful outreach to the UK and Germany

News release

January 23, 2023 – Ottawa, Ontario – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, concluded a productive outreach to the United Kingdom and Germany, wrapping up a week of meetings and events. The focus of the trip was to reaffirm Canada’s commitment to deepening and diversifying agriculture trade, promoting Canadian agriculture products and sustainable global food trade and security.

Throughout the outreach, Minister Bibeau took part in conversations with her international counterparts and stakeholders, where she reinforced Canada’s role as a reliable and indispensable trading partner and discussed opportunities for enhanced cooperation in the agricultural sector. 

While in London, Minister Bibeau met with The Honourable Ralph Goodale, High Commissioner for Canada in the United Kingdom (UK) to discuss Canada-UK agriculture trade. She also provided remarks at the International Grains Council (IGC) Grains Forum, where she reaffirmed Canada’s support for Ukraine’s agricultural sector and the Black Sea Initiative, and called for further stability in the global grains value chain.

Minister Bibeau also joined a stakeholder roundtable with agriculture and food and drink associations in the UK, where she reaffirmed Canada’s role as a key trading partner for the UK and discussed key issues facing the sector.

In Berlin, Minister Bibeau joined a number of her counterparts at the Berlin Agriculture Ministers’ Conference 2023, part of the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA). The meeting convened 64 ministers and representatives from around the world to discuss how food systems can best respond to multiple crises. She reiterated Canada’s condemnation of Russia’s illegal and unjustifiable invasion of Ukraine in creating global food security problems.

During the meeting, Minister Bibeau also stressed the importance of sustainable agriculture, highlighting recent actions and investments in Canada’s agriculture sector; as well as the importance of open, predictable and transparent agricultural trade. She also reaffirmed that increasing productivity and leveraging innovative ideas to support farmers is essential, and that the contribution of women, youth and Indigenous peoples is vital for agricultural growth.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Minister Bibeau was invited by Germany’s Minister of Food and Agriculture, Cem Özdemir, to join him in the press conference and share her insights given her role as co-chair of the recent Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting. 

The Berlin Ministers’ Conference also released a Final Communiqué stressing the need to respond to global crisis in agriculture, including:

  • Creating sustainable and resilient food systems;
  • Fostering climate-friendly food systems;
  • Promoting the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity; and
  • Improving collaboration for sustainable global food systems.

To finish the day, Minister Bibeau took part in a side event “Pathway towards strengthening and resilience of food systems in Ukraine” hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine. The meeting was to discuss strategic visions for facilitating the recovery of Ukraine’s food systems.

The Government of Canada will continue to work with international partners and organizations to support a coordinated response to global food security concerns, allowing for Canadian producers and processors to bring more of their products to the global market.

Quotes

"Our producers, processors and exporters provide high-quality food to the world, all while building a strong, sustainable agriculture sector at home in Canada. I am working with trading partners to explore new opportunities, further agriculture trade, address challenges and ensure the future of our farmers’ livelihoods.”
-  The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Quick facts

  • Canada is the world’s fifth-largest exporter and sixth-largest importer of agriculture and food products.

  • The European Union (EU) is Canada’s 2nd largest trading partner (after the U.S.), and Canada’s 4th  largest market for Canadian agriculture, agri-food and seafood products.

  • Canada is positioned favourably with the European Union (EU), and provided with preferential access for numerous agriculture and food products through the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA).

  • The UK is Canada’s third largest global trading partner for goods and services.

  • The International Grains Council (IGC) is an intergovernmental organization whose objectives are to further international cooperation in trade, promote expansion, openness and fairness in the sector and to contribute to market stability and enhance world food security.

  • Minister Bibeau reiterated Canada’s commitment to work with the global community to support efforts to help Ukrainian farmers. Canada has supported Ukraine through various investments including:

    • $52 million to the FAO for grain storage capacity and lab equipment, which provided over 25,000 grain sleeves to more than 1,400 Ukrainian farmers;
    • $30 million to the World Food Program to allow shipments of Ukrainian grain; and
    • EU-Ukraine Solidarity Lanes, have already supported the export of about 40 million tonnes of grain and food products from Ukraine.
  • The GFFA is an international conference on central issues of vital importance for global agricultural and food policies held annually in Berlin.

  • The Berlin Agriculture Ministers’ Conference, part of the GFFA is the world’s largest meeting of agriculture ministers. The 15th Berlin Agriculture Ministers‘ Conference brought again together political decision-makers from all continents to discuss the key topic of GFFA 2023.

  • Minister Bibeau conducted a series of bilateral meetings and discussions with:

    • Australia’s Minister of Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, Murray Watt;
    • Bangladesh’s Minister of Agriculture, Mohammad Abdur Razzaque;
    • Colombia’s Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Cecilia Matilde López Montaño;
    • EU Commissioner for Agriculture, Janusz Wojciechowski;
    • Italy’s Minister of Agriculture, Food Sovereignty and Forestry, Francesco Lollobrigida;
    • Japan’s Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Tetsuro Nomura; and
    • UK’s Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Mark Spencer.

Associated links

Contacts

For Media:

Marianne Dandurand
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
marianne.dandurand@agr.gc.ca
343-541-9229

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
613-773-7972
1-866-345-7972
aafc.mediarelations-relationsmedias.aac@canada.ca
Twitter: @AAFC_Canada
Facebook: CanadianAgriculture

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