‘Canada is certainly a market which offers opportunities’

Canada is certainly a market which offers opportunities for the Irish agri-food sector, according to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed.

The minister completed the Canadian leg of the trade mission to North America yesterday – having spent two days in Toronto attending a plethora of meetings and events. On Wednesday, Minister Creed visited Ottawa for a series of political meetings in Canada’s administrative capital.

During these meetings, the minister held discussions with the Canadian Minister for Agriculture Lawrence McAuley, his Deputy Chris Forbes and his assistant Fred Gorrell.

He also took the opportunity to address the Canadian Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food.

Commenting on Wednesday’s political engagement, Minister Creed said: “The EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) provides Irish agri-food exporters the platform to build future opportunities in Canada.

“I was pleased to be afforded the opportunity to raise awareness of Ireland’s agri-food and beverage sector, with significant political figures in Canada.

There was keen interest from Minister McAuley, and others, regarding our potential exposure arising from Brexit, our Foodwise 2025 ambitions as well our sustainability initiatives such as Origin Green.

Minister Creed was formally introduced to the parliament during prime minister’s questions taken by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The minister was also hosted by the Canada Ireland Parliamentary Group for lunch in the parliament building.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, Minister Creed hosted a Bord Bia breakfast event in Toronto – bringing together Irish businesses seeking to build in the Canadian market with senior retailers and purchasers operating in the region.

Other meetings included a round table with the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, and a beverages promotional event in downtown Toronto.

Concluding, Minister Creed said: “Canada is certainly a market which offers opportunities for us to grow and expand our export offering as we continue to diversify our market base as a Brexit mitigation measure.

“The connections made over the past number of days should prove beneficial in our efforts to achieve these goals into the future.”