Minister MacAulay opens Canada’s first-ever Indo-Pacific Agriculture and Agri-Food Office

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Source: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Canada has strong business and people-to-people ties across the Indo-Pacific region, and the Government of Canada will continue working to create new opportunities for Canadian farmers, producers, and the agri-food sector with key trading partners.

While in Manila, Philippines, the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, joined Canadian stakeholders, government partners, and dignitaries to officially open Canada’s Indo-Pacific Agriculture and Agri-Food Office (IPAAO) and begin a new chapter for Canada’s engagement in the region. This announcement comes at the midway point in Minister MacAulay’s productive trade mission to two key Indo-Pacific markets: Malaysia and the Philippines.

The IPAAO’s unique model will bring a regional lens to the Indo-Pacific. Its mobile team will operate from a hub in Manila and work to build strategic partnerships that will grow our export opportunities and increase the demand for Canadian products. The IPAAO will leverage Canada’s expertise as a world leader in food safety and sustainability with that of our Indo-Pacific partners to tackle common challenges.

The first cohort of IPAAO staff is already on the ground, working with partners to advance shared priorities, such as food security, create mutually beneficial opportunities, build on strong relationships and enhance technical cooperation, market access and trade.

The Indo-Pacific region currently accounts for over one-third of the world’s economic activity, and in 2023, Canada’s agriculture and agri-food exports to the region reached $22.8 billion. The opening of the IPAAO supports the economic pillar of Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy and demonstrates our commitment to the region and our Indo-Pacific partnerships.

Quotes

“I’m so pleased to be in Manila to open Canada’s first-ever Indo-Pacific Agriculture and Agri-Food Office. We export nearly half of what we produce in Canada and the global demand continues to grow. I have no doubt this office will play a central role in growing export markets for our world-class Canadian farmers and increasing collaboration and cooperation in this important region.”

– The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

“Today’s opening of the Indo-Pacific Agriculture and Agri-Food Office in Manila marks an exciting milestone in Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy! This office will expand our trade network at home and abroad, and create opportunities for Canadian businesses working in the agriculture and agri-food sector. I look forward to seeing the new office in person, later this year, during our Team Canada Trade Mission to the Philippines. ”

– The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Export Promotion, International Trade and Economic Development

“The Indo-Pacific provides a unique opportunity for growth and diversification for Canadian pulses. This office demonstrates the Government of Canada’s support for our sector proactively breaking down market access barriers and playing a direct role in expanding exports of high-quality, sustainable pulses across the region.”

– Kevin Auch, Chair, Pulse Canada

“Canada’s 43,000 canola farmers rely on trade, 90% of the canola grown in Canada is exported as seed, oil, and meal. The opening of the IPAAO sends a strong signal to our trading partners in the region that Canada is serious about market access, maintenance, and development. The IPAAO is a key part of our strategy to diversify our export markets and establish long lasting relationships in the Indo-Pacific.”

– Dave Carey, Vice-President, Government & Industry Relations, Canadian Canola Growers Association (CCGA)

“The Indo-Pacific region represents both key established markets as well as diversification opportunities for Canadian canola. Additional resources and an enhanced and sustained presence in the region are important to advancing both market access and market development efforts to support the growth and competitiveness of our industry and the broader sector.”

– Chris Davison, Canola Council of Canada

“The Indo-Pacific is an important and growing region for Canadian cereals, representing approximately $2.3 billion CDN in annual purchases. We are pleased to see the opening of the Indo-Pacific Agriculture and Agri-Food Office and we look forward to working with IPAAO staff to build existing relationships and foster new partnerships in the region.”

– Dean Dias, CEO, Cereals Canada.

“Canada’s export-oriented grain sector contributes over $140 billion to our GDP and accounts for 1 in 9 jobs across the country. Market diversification is critical for producers to secure the best price for their grain and the Indo-Pacific region presents the largest opportunity for our sector. We are proud to see the opening of Canada’s Indo-Pacific Agriculture and Agri-Food Office and we look forward to working together to grow, open, and sustain markets across the region.”

– Andre Harpe, Chair, Grain Growers of Canada

“Canada’s agri-food exporters welcome the opening of this office, strengthening Canada’s presence in regional markets that are vital to our long-term prosperity.”

– Michael Harvey, Executive Director, Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance (CAFTA)

“More than anywhere else, we need to be present in the Indo-Pacific region and this office will help us do that. We’re thrilled that Canada is now better positioned to prevent and address market access issues so that our trade can be more stable and more valuable.”

– Brian Innes, Executive Director, Soy Canada

“The Indo-Pacific region is populated by strong seafood cultures. The Canadian seafood sector sees tremendous opportunity to our expand exports of delicious, high-quality Canadian fish and seafood. Our members look forward to working with the IPAAO to realize those opportunities.”

– Paul Lansbergen, President, Fisheries Council of Canada

“The Canadian Food Exporters Association is thrilled that there will be a dedicated office in the Indo-Pacific region to assist Canadian agri-food companies. Our association is looking forward to working with the staff in this office to promote and increase the interest for Canadian agri-food products.”

– Susan Powell, President & CEO, Canadian Food Exporters Association

“Through the successful CPTPP and other significant trade agreements, we have seen export opportunities continue for our high-quality Canadian beef to the Indo-Pacific region including with countries such as Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. We are pleased to see the Government of Canada supporting our global trade efforts by opening this Indo-Pacific office, supporting our valued strategic partnership, and opening more trade avenues for Canadian beef producers.”

– Nathan Phinney, President, Canadian Cattle Association

“We’re thrilled to see the years of work from the team at AAFC and from the agriculture industry bear fruit with this announcement. This milestone will help all of us in Canadian agriculture expand our presence in the region, and we look forward to many years of promoting our products more directly in the Indo-Pacific, thanks to the team at this new office. Bravo Team Canada!”

– René Roy, chair of the Canadian Pork Council

“Canadian cattle feeders welcome the opening of the IPAAO and consider it a critical component of the Indo-Pacific Strategy. This office will provide opportunities to grow existing markets and develop new markets for Canadian beef products.”

– Janice Tranberg, President and CEO, National Cattle Feeders’ Association

“Today marks an important day for Canada’s red meat packers, processors and producers as this office will permit us to deepen relationships that further enrich trade for our sector with the Indo-Pacific region. An ardent ally, Minister MacAulay continues to prioritize collaboration to strengthen reciprocal market access for Canadian red meat and we are grateful for his leadership to reinforce our global presence.”

– Chris White, President and CEO, Canadian Meat Council

Quick facts

  • Encompassing 40 economies, over four billion people and $47.19 trillion in economic activity, the Indo-Pacific region is the world’s fastest-growing region and home to 11 of Canada’s top 20 trading partners.
  • Backed by a $31.8 million federal government investment, Canada’s Indo-Pacific Agriculture and Agri-Food Office (IPAAO) is a joint initiative by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
  • The Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance (CAFTA) is a coalition of national organizations that support a more open and fair international trading environment for agriculture and agri-food. CAFTA represents 90% of farmers who depend on trade and ranchers, producers, processors, and agri-food exporters who want to grow the economy through better access to international markets.
  • The Canada Brand provides Canadian exporters with a stronger international presence by helping them leverage Canada’s positive reputation around the world. Export-ready companies can sign-up for free.

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