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April 8, 2004
For immediate release

Food Safety Quality Key to Profitability

Agriculture, Fisheries, Aquaculture & Forestry

Prince Edward Island Agriculture, Fisheries, Aquaculture and Forestry Minister Kevin MacAdam has proposed that potatoes and potato products be added to the list of eligible commodities under Canada’s food aid programs. He made the proposal in Toronto today where he is attending the federal, provincial and territorial meeting of agriculture ministers.

“The inclusion of potatoes would help stimulate exports and provide new sources of food aid to help meet Canada’s commitments,” said Mr. MacAdam. “Potatoes are highly nutritious, and can help contribute significantly to the dietary needs of populations in crisis.”

Federal and provincial agriculture ministers discussed food safety and quality as a key to profitability when they met in Toronto to build on their vision for a strong sector.

Ministers reviewed current challenges and discussed ways to build on the progress created by the Agricultural Policy Framework (APF). They agreed to continue working with producers and other industry stakeholders to determine what governments can do to ensure the APF foundation facilitates economic growth and diversification at the farm level across Canada and throughout the value chain.

Consumer confidence in the safety and quality of Canadian food at home and abroad is critical to this growth, according to the communique from the ministers’ meeting. They pointed to Canada’s experience with BSE as an example of what can happen when consumers have confidence in the food system.

The meeting also provided an opportunity for ministers to receive an update on the BSE situation and to hear directly from the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association on the state of the industry. The ministers agreed to pursue the development of a National Beef Strike Force as requested by the Council of the Federation.

The meeting also included discussions about the mandate and structure for the Annual Review Panel of the APF which they committed to finalize at the June annual meeting. That meeting will be held in Prince Edward Island June 28-30.

Media Contact: Wayne MacKinnon
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