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Canada to host 2011 International Agriculture Ministerial

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced today that Canada will take a leading role in agricultural trade relations by hosting the 36th Cairns Group Ministerial Meeting. Held in Saskatoon from September 7-9, 2011, the meeting will be co-chaired by Canada and Australia and will focus on World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations on agriculture and other agricultural trade related issues.

"Hosting the Cairns Group gives Canada an excellent opportunity to promote our ambitious and balanced agenda to strengthen international agricultural trade rules," said Minister Ritz. "Our government understands that farmers feed the world, and I'm proud to invite my international counterparts to beautiful Saskatoon to participate in discussions on enhancing agricultural trade, economic development, and growth"
The Cairns Group is a coalition of 19 agricultural exporting countries with a commitment to strengthening agricultural trade. Canada is the world's fifth largest exporter of agriculture and food products with annual exports worth over $35.5 billion. Special guests from a number of other important trading partners will also be invited to attend. Over 150 participants from more than 25 countries are expected to gather in Saskatoon.
In addition, farm leaders from the Cairns Group member countries will also attend a meeting hosted by the Canadian Federation of Agriculture and the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance to be co-chaired by the Australian National Farmers' Federation.
Media are invited to register in advance by filling out and returning the attached accreditation form. A news conference will be held on September 9, following the conclusion of the meetings. The full media program will be available closer to the event.
For information about the Cairns Group, please visit: www.cairnsgroup.org

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