Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Opening new markets for Alberta’s resources

Minister of Agriculture and
Rural Development Verlyn Olson
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Verlyn Olson, Comment

Alberta is rich with resources and Premier Alison Redford’s Building Alberta Plan is helping ensure we can get our goods and services to new and emerging markets.

For Alberta’s farmers and food processors, the world is an ever-growing global marketplace with more than seven billion mouths to feed. It is estimated that within the next 10 to 15 years, Canada will be one of a handful of countries producing more food than it consumes. Couple this with the quality and food safety demands of growing middle classes in countries like China and India, and Alberta is in a great position.

Traditionally, we have relied on the United States to buy our products. While it’s great to have a best friend, it’s not prudent to have only one friend. Diversity will help create more economic opportunity, investment, jobs and revenues. It will also give us options when trade issues, like the U.S.’s unfair Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling provisions, threaten our industry.
One of the most important new friends Alberta can make is China. The Premier has been working hard to open access for our products in this key market. When she was in China this fall, she promoted our high-quality beef, and also talked about other products including honey, canola oil, wheat, barley, oats and peas.

Kazakhstan is another emerging market of interest to Alberta’s agriculture industry. I recently visited the country with some of our industry representatives.  The Kazakhstanis are very interested in quality cattle, genetic material and expertise and I expect we will develop a long and mutually profitable relationship with the country.

While emerging markets like China or Kazakhstan provide a great opportunity for Alberta, we are also developing our trade relationships with some of our oldest friends.  The recently announced tentative agreement with the European Union will open doors to a market of more than half a billion people for Canadian producers. This new deal is tremendous news for our cattle and pork producers, as well as other product and service providers.

For me, there is a strong connection between our agricultural sector and rural development … as one flourishes, the other follows. I know Alberta’s commitment to market access will benefit both rural and urban Alberta, ensuring that we continue to have a vibrant and thriving economy.

1 comment:

  1. Cornell Van Ryk28/11/13

    Sounds good. There should be a fantastic patronage appointment awaiting should you be defeated in the next election, just like the last ag. minister.


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