News Release Article from  Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Harper Government Invests in Canadian Pet Food Industry

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Ottawa, Ontario, November 14, 2012 - The Harper Government is investing in the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council of Canada (PIJAC) to help develop global markets for Canadian pet food producers, announced Parliamentary Secretary Pierre Lemieux on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz.

"This investment will help PIJAC recapture existing markets and penetrate new foreign markets and capitalize on more export opportunities for pet food manufacturers," said PS Lemieux. "Our Government is making strategic investments like these because we know trade creates jobs and keeps our economy strong."

The PIJAC will use the up to $125,000 investment to build relationships with new and existing buyers and increase the sales, exports, and value of its products overall. These efforts will underline the positive attributes associated with Canada's pet food products and further raise the image of Canadian agricultural products. Activities planned include participating in key international trade shows, where PIJAC will be able to gather current information on markets, trends, and opportunities; educate and encourage potential exaporters; and provide information to potential customers.

"On behalf of our member exporters, we appreciate the support received through the AgriMarketing funding program," said Louis McCann, Executive Director of PIJAC Canada. "For these companies, this contribution has proven instrumental in the realization of their export objectives."

Canada's pet food industry demonstrates great export intensity with exports of $281 million in 2011. In 2010, about 43% of Canada's pet food industry sales came from exports. The industry has been working to recapture and grow foreign markets and has shown strong export growth in 2009 (15% increase), 2010 (13% increase), and 2011 (17% increase).

Through the AgriMarketing Program under Growing Forward, the Government of Canada is investing $88 million to help industry implement long-term international strategies, including international market development, industry-to-industry trade advocacy, and consumer awareness and branding activities. The Government of Canada has identified market development as a priority under Growing Forward 2, and this announcement is another example of what is being done to enhance competitiveness and drive innovation and long-term growth in Canadian agriculture.

To find out more about the AgriMarketing program, please visit www.agr.gc.ca/agrimarketing.

For more information, media may contact:

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
613-773-7972
1-866-345-7972

Jeff English
Press Secretary
The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
613-773-1059

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