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Canada: Govts. invest $19 mil in agri-food sector

The Honourable Gerry Ritz, Canada’s Mminister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, and the Honourable François Gendron, Quebec’s deputy premier and Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, announce an investment of $19 million in support of Quebec agri-food sector initiatives to develop markets and improve the performance and competitiveness of businesses.

This financial support, spanning a period of five years, is part of the Support Program for Sectoral Development Strategies 2 (SPSDS 2), which is implemented under the Canada–Quebec Growing Forward 2 Agreement.

"The Government of Canada is proud to support Quebec's agri-food sector by making strategic investments to stimulate innovation and economic growth," Mr. Ritz said. "Growing Forward 2 provides versatile and innovative programs that provide farmers and processors in Quebec with the tools they need to stay competitive and expand into new markets."

This program aims to encourage leaders in the sector to work together and act in synergy to develop partnership initiatives and projects that will benefit the entire agri-food industry. For the purposes of the program, the "sector" comprises all producers, processors and distributors involved in bringing to market agri-food products with the same basic components or distinctive features.

"One of the pillars of the Government of Quebec's food sovereignty policy is the development of the economic potential of the bio-food sector," Gendron said. "We therefore need to support the development of the sector's various branches. Through this program, we hope to make businesses more competitive and develop markets, two priorities of the food sovereignty policy. The SPSDS is definitely the way to go."

The SPSDS 2 has four components: sectoral development, sectoral strategic plans, value chains and sectoral co-operation. The fourth component is new and was not part of the previous version of the program. It should enable sectoral co-operation organizations to hire development officers, who will act as project managers, in order to facilitate the design and implementation of sectoral development projects.

Growing Forward 2 is a bilateral agreement between the governments of Canada and Quebec with a five-year (2013–2018) budget of $293 million. The purpose of this major agreement is to support strategic initiatives in innovation, competitiveness and market development for the benefit of both the agricultural and food processing sectors.

For more information on national Growing Forward 2 initiatives, click here.

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