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Industry Group Makes Recommendations to Advance Ag Sector Innovation

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA -- (Marketwired) -- 07/17/14 -- Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Today, the Agri-Innovators' Committee's final report was presented to federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) Agricultural Ministers during their annual meeting. The report outlines recommendations to help the sector realize its full growth potential by maximizing its innovation capacity along the entire value chain.

The Committee looked at impediments to the advancement of innovation and recommends concerted action in four key areas: regulatory reform, investment climate, public-private collaboration and entrepreneurial culture. The report concludes that ongoing industry leadership is critical in driving innovation to enable sector success.

The Committee has achieved its mandate and the report recommendations have been discussed with industry through the Value Chain Round Table Committees to determine how best to move forward to advance innovation in the sector.

Quick Facts

--  The Agri-Innovators' Committee was formed in September 2012 to provide
    expert advice to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food on how to
    advance innovation in the sector for increased profitability and
    competitiveness.
--  The Committee's work is in keeping with the Government's efforts to
    create jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for Canada.
--  The Committee was established to complement Growing Forward 2
    initiatives, a five-year, $3-billion investment by FPT governments
    focused on innovation, competitiveness and market development.

Quotes

"I wish to thank the Agri-Innovators Committee members for their report on how action and investments can be directed to maximize the results and returns that are most relevant to producers and the entire value chain. The recommendations in the report provide guidance for ongoing industry leadership and will help inform how to create the right enabling environment for sector innovation and competitiveness to flourish."

- Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz.

"The Committee has greatly benefited from this opportunity to pool our expertise and experiences to collaboratively explore ways to maximize innovation across the entire value chain. It is our hope that our recommendations will provide value to the Minister and, most importantly, contribute to the long-term competitiveness and prosperity of the sector in vital areas."

- Travis Toews, Agri-Innovators' Committee Co-chair.

"Although Canada is already a large exporter, Canada has so much more potential as a leader in the global food market. I believe that the Committee's recommendations will help the industry reach for that growth potential through the adoption of innovative products and production techniques. Ultimately, the industry stands behind efforts to further improve our quality, productivity, and competitiveness in global markets."

- Jim Thorne, President and Chief Executive Officer of Marsan Foods Limited and Agri-Innovators' Committee member.

To request an electronic copy of the report, contact the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) Publications Service at [email protected].

Associated Links

Growing Forward 2

New Agri-Innovators' Committee to Provide Long-term Vision for Agriculture Innovation

Minister Ritz Welcomes First Meeting of Agri-Innovators on Innovation and Growth

BACKGROUNDER

The Agri-Innovators' Committee was mandated to provide advice to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food on various aspects of innovation for the sector, with a view to accelerating the development and adoption of innovation to make the sector more profitable, competitive, and sustainable.

Overall Committee Recommendations

Committee deliberations on the four themes resulted in the following six overarching and interrelated recommendations:

1.  Canada needs a competitive business environment to become a destination
    of choice for investment, especially in R&D and value-added processing.
2.  A "fast-to-market" mindset among governments, academia and industry is
    critical to compete in global markets.
3.  A modern science-based regulatory environment is a key component of a
    competitive business environment that enables access to appropriate
    inputs and maximizes global market access opportunities. Alignment
    across various jurisdictions within Canada is necessary.
4.  Better coordination, collaboration, and leveraging of resources, as well
    as a customer-driven focus, are achievable through R&D partnerships and
    clusters involving government, academia, and industry.
5.  Benchmarking is an important tool for understanding our current
    capacities and assessing them against those of our competitors (e.g.
    adoption of new products, practices, processes, and technologies), as
    well as for ensuring more productive use of existing and future
    resources.
6.  Building awareness of the opportunities in the agriculture and agri-food
    sector, as well as explaining the role of modern agricultural
    technologies, and Canada's robust approval processes for food and novel
    production techniques will be critical to support an innovative sector.

Agri-Innovators' Committee member biographies are available on AAFC's website at www.agr.gc.ca/AIC.

Contacts:
Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
613-773-7972
1-866-345-7972
Follow us on Twitter: @AAFC_Canada

Jeff English
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
613-773-1059

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