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Minister Ritz and Secretary Vilsack finish agricultural mission to Turkey</

They took part in the G20 Agricultural Ministers Meeting

By Diego Flammini,

Agricultural Ministers from the current G20 members gathered in Istanbul, Turkey, for the Agricultural Ministers Meeting – the first since 2011.

Among the attendees were Canadian Agricultural Minister Gerry Ritz and US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.

While there, Minister Ritz shows his support for innovations in agriculture including biotechnology, increasing safe food production and improving farmers’ incomes.

"Increasing global agricultural trade, as well as encouraging innovation through biotechnology, are foundational to ensure food security,” said Minister Ritz. “Collaborative efforts will certainly bring more economic prosperity and growth for farmers in Canada and around the world.”

Gerry RItz

He also met with Turkish Agricultural Minister Mehmet Mehdi Eker and secured an agreement to open market access for Canada’s breeding cattle to Turkey. The agreement is estimated to be worth about $4.5 million per year.

Minister Ritz met with European Union Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan and they discussed the signing of the Canada-EU Free Trade Agreement and agreed it needs to happen sooner rather than later.

For Secretary Vilsack, the focus was on reducing food waste and how the term takes on a different meaning around the world.

Tom Vilsack

"Most important from the U.S. perspective is acknowledging the importance of reducing post-harvest loss and food waste and the positive effect that can have on increasing food security,” said Vilsack. “The issue of food loss and waste is different in developed countries, where the problem is the foods that consumers throw away. In developing countries, the problem is inefficient storage of foods and ingredients before they reach the consumers.”

All 20 agricultural ministers were involved in the creation of a plan to try and adhere to as the population and the need for food continues to increase. It’s estimated the global population will reach nine billion by 2050.

Join the conversation and tell us your thoughts about what the ministers accomplished at the Agricultural Ministers Meeting.

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