Food and Beverage Ontario (FBO) and Conseil de la transformation alimentaire du Quebec (CTAQ) have signed an agreement to team up in an effort to strengthen food and beverage processor representation nationally and provincially, as well as raise the profile of Canada’s processing industry overall.
“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,” says 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.”
According to a media release, the agreement between FBO and CTAQ will pursue strategic partnerships and collaboration with stakeholders to support a competitive position for the food and beverage processing industry. It also aims to increase the profile of the food and beverage processing industry with governments, industry stakeholders and Canadians; identify and work with partners on the development of programs that will increase industry innovation, productivity and competitiveness; and establish specific job and revenue targets for the industry collaboratively with governments.
“Recent international trade agreements such as CETA and TPP demand that we present a unified Canadian industry position to negotiating governments,” says Norm Beal, CEO of 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,” says Sylvie Cloutier CEO of CTAQ. “Quebec and Ontario processors will work with federal departments on increasing industry competitiveness and building market opportunities locally and globally.”