B.C. Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick has issued the following statement while touring China with Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz as part of a federally led trade mission with industry and government leaders from B.C. and across Canada:
“I'm pleased to report that just a few days into our mission we’re already seeing results.
“An agreement was signed between the Governments of Canada and China that will lead to full, unimpeded access for fresh B.C. cherries into China. As a result B.C. cherry growers stand to generate millions of dollars a year in new revenue.
“The B.C. government has worked closely with cherry growers, the federal government and Chinese importers to reach this agreement. We look forward to building on this momentum and playing the same role in helping gain access for fresh B.C. blueberries, as well as working to expand the markets for B.C. pork, wine, seafood and other products.
“I'd also like to congratulate the governments of Canada and China on the ongoing progress made on this trade mission towards fresh B.C. blueberries being approved for sale in the Chinese market. B.C. growers could be looking at up to $65 million worth of exports a year once the agreement is fully implemented.
“The deals we're making on this trade mission could easily result in an increase in B.C. agrifood exports of about $100 million within a few years. The opportunities in China are huge. We’ve set record agrifood exports to China in each of the last four years, and we want that to grow.”
Government of Canada news release regarding the signing of the agreement: http://www.agr.gc.ca/eng/news/news-releases/?id=1383076728778
Government of British Columbia’s news release announcing the trade mission:
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Agriculture
250 889-5945 (cell)