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Food For Thought: How Can Food Help Our Economy Grow?
July 21, 2017 – Charlottetown, PE – Food is a key part of Atlantic Canada’s economy. From lobster to offshore fisheries to aquaculture to potato production and other farming enterprises, each of the Atlantic Provinces has significant food industries – both primary production and processing. When the link between food production and tourism is added to the mix, it makes the sector even more important to our economy.
Atlantic Canada has a strong and diverse food industry with deep historical roots, and it has great potential for growth. With the federal and provincial governments’ focus on economic growth through the Atlantic Growth Strategy, and the findings of the Dominic Barton-led Advisory Council on Economic Growth on the growth potential of the agri-food sector, the time is right to look at how the region’s food industry can meet that potential.
Today in Charlottetown, the Honourable Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board and Member of Parliament for Kings-Hants (NS), and the Honourable Wayne Easter, Member of Parliament for Malpeque, joined representatives from PEI’s Food Island Partnership (FIP) and local food industry stakeholders to discuss the role that food plays in Atlantic Canada’s economy, and how governments and industry can work together to help the food industry grow to play more of a leading role in economic growth for the region.
“The Atlantic Growth Strategy is a blueprint for economic growth – it’s a collaborative approach between governments and industry and since it was launched just over a year ago, we’ve already started to see positive results,” says Minister Brison. “I am pleased to meet and work with our food industry to explore ways to help it grow our economy and create good jobs for Atlantic Canadians.”
“The Food Island Partnership is well-positioned to help lead this unprecedented opportunity for growth in the food industry. We look forward to working with the federal government and Atlantic Provinces to ensure that our region’s quality food products have a brighter future than ever before,” says John Rowe, Chair of the Food Island Partnership and President of Island Abbey Foods Ltd.
There is tremendous potential for Atlantic Canadian food products in foreign markets. The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) will remove tariffs on these products, and growing economies in other parts of the world are creating more and more demand for quality food products.
In the months ahead, more work will be done to ensure that Atlantic Canada’s food industry gets the support it needs to take advantage of these opportunities and build on its long history of success.
CEO, Food Island Partnership
Marketing Officer, Food Island Partnership
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