Harper Government Strengthens Agri Partnership with Israel03 May 2012
"The Harper Government is working to increase market opportunities for our hard-working producers and processors," said Minister Ritz. "We continue to explore every opportunity to help farmers boost their bottom line, grow the agriculture industry, and strengthen the long-term prosperity of the Canadian economy."
Minister Ritz met with his Israeli counterpart, Agriculture Minister Ms. Orit Noked, and stressed the need for access to Israel for Canadian beef. Israel committed to working with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the Market Access Secretariat to move Canada's request forward. In 2010, Israel's total beef imports from all countries were valued at approximately C$370 million.
Minister Ritz also raised the importance of a renewed Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement with Industry, Trade and Labour Minister Mr. Shalom Simhon. Since this free trade agreement came into force in 1997, total bilateral trade has more than doubled, reaching C$1.4 billion in 2010, C$63 million of which was agricultural goods. In 2010 alone, Canada exported C$30 million worth of agri-food and seafood to Israel. Canada's key agricultural exports to Israel are pulses, canola, and beverages.
Canada and Israel agreed that an enhanced memorandum of understanding for co operation in science and research would greatly benefit the long-term prosperity of both countries. Israel and Canada will work together to propose new research projects for collaboration. Demonstrating his commitment to agriculture science and research, Minister Ritz toured the Volcani Centre, Israel's world-class agricultural research organisation, to see what other opportunities exist for co-operation.