Food and Beverage Ontario (FBO) and Conseil de la transformation alimentaire du Quebec (CTAQ) signed a historic agreement today. This agreement will strengthen food and beverage processor representation nationally and provincially and raise the profile of Canada's processing industry.
Together, FBO and CTAQ will bring their respective expertise to addressing policy, regulatory and program issues for food and beverage processors. Businesses in these two provinces generate over $60 billion in sales and represent 66% of production across Canada.
"I am pleased to see the initiative taken by Food and Beverage Ontario in developing this agreement that will create significant economic opportunities for Ontario's food and beverage industry," said Hon. Jeff Leal, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. "To continue to grow and expand this roughly $60 billion dollar industry for Ontario and Quebec, we know we need to focus on expanding exports and finding new markets for our products. I have confidence that this MOU will help us deliver that and move the food and beverage industry forward."
The agreement between FBO and CTAQ will:
Ontario and Quebec account for most of the processing production in Canada with 66% of sales from over 5,700 businesses. These businesses directly employ more than 157,000 Canadians with thousands more through indirect jobs. An impressive 50% of all national exports come from these two provinces.
"Recent international trade agreements such as CETA and TPP demand that we present a unified Canadian industry position to negotiating governments", said Norm Beal, CEO Food and Beverage Ontario. "This agreement between FBO and CTAQ will drive more effective use of resources between our two organizations."
Immediate priorities for FBO and CTAQ include an analysis of industry policy and regulatory issues, and launching of a communications campaign focused on the federal government. Raising the profile of the sector and its impact on the economy is also a high priority.
"With a recent government change the time is right to raise profile of the food and beverage industry and build relationships with new government representatives. Quebec and Ontario processors will work with federal departments on increasing industry competitiveness and building market opportunities locally and globally," said Sylvie Cloutier CEO of CTAQ.
This multi-year agreement will set the stage for a more globally-competitive and responsive food and beverage processing industry.
The Conseil de la transformation alimentaire du Québec (CTAQ) groups 80% of the annual business volume of a 23.8 billion dollar industry. Food processing is the largest manufacturing sector in Quebec, and nearly 70% of Quebec's agricultural production relies on the industry as the main commercial outlet.
Food and Beverage Ontario is a not-for-profit, leadership organization advancing the interests of Ontario's food and beverage processors. FBO's focus is on the success, prosperity and growth of the food and beverage processing industry. For more information go to www.foodandbeverageontario.ca
SOURCE Food and Beverage Ontario
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