Ernie Hardeman, Ontario’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, says that Ontario is expanding efforts to help open doors to international markets and attract foreign investment for the sector. “Following on some of the outreach I led last fall with an agri-food trade mission to South Korea and Japan to promote the quality and availability of Ontario pork, beef, soybean and other agri-food products, I am currently working with my ministry to help food suppliers seek out new opportunities through our virtual trade mission work, particularly in Europe and the U.S.”
“As part of these ongoing efforts, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs will host a webinar in February that should be of interest for many of Ontario’s food and beverage businesses seeking to broaden their market opportunities. The sessions will provide valuable insights into market and partnership opportunities in Germany and The Netherlands. Participants will learn insights directly from industry experts and trade commissioners from each country.
The February 10 webinar is an excellent opportunity to expand on the agri-food connections between these nations, Ontario’s marketplace and its many firms in the sector. The format of the sessions will mirror those of similar, high-impact sessions staged in recent weeks for export-ready Ontario agri-food businesses aiming to expand their sales through U.S.-based markets. I encourage any business interested in expanding into these lucrative markets to attend this webinar and learn from industry experts on the German and Dutch markets. Attendees must register to attend online here.
Ontario has a well-earned reputation globally as a producer of a wide variety of high-quality food products. We’re working to further raise the profile of the sector and set the stage for it to benefit from future business opportunities.
We’re also working to ensure Ontario is Open for Business. That goal drives our government’s action to lower the small business tax rate by 8.7 per cent. This will save over 275,000 business owners up to $1,500 annually. Another initiative reduced workplace insurance premium rates by 30 per cent in 2019 and a further 17 per cent in 2020. Those moves that will save Ontario businesses over $2 billion annually – they’re part of more than 200 actions our government has taken to cut red tape and reduce barriers for businesses.
Additionally, we are working to better position Ontario as a top tier destination for investment by establishing Invest Ontario. The new agency is laser focused on advanced manufacturing, life sciences, and technology. It will provide investors with customized tools and services that support them to invest in Ontario and leverage the many benefits of Ontario.
Holding virtual trade missions supports this broad strategy to bolster the job creation climate for Ontario businesses. We’re confident these upcoming webinars and the wider effort that it’s part of will help build opportunities for Ontario’s incredible agri-food sector – even as we collectively work through the challenges presented by COVID-19.
I would love to hear from any Ontario agri-food suppliers eager to explore our webinars about these key European markets, or from others in the sector interested to find out more about how OMAFRA can help you find new international business opportunities. For more information you can contact the ministry at: [email protected] or 1-877-424-1300.
Ontario’s agri-food exports total more than $16.5 billion a year. Together, we can grow that number.
COVID-19 has presented the agri-food sector with incredible challenges. I have been repeatedly impressed at its resilience. Our agri-food sector and its many businesses have heroically worked to support the capacity of our agri-food supply chain. They have also shown determination to keep driving our economy and to seek greater opportunity. And, I stand with them in those efforts.”
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