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The Canadian Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food visit to Tullamore

17th October 2013

The Canadian Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Honourable Gerry Ritz, P.C, M.P, together with Ms. Kristina Namiesniowski, Assistant Deputy Minister, Market and Industry Services Branch, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, visited Tullamore recently. The Canadian Ambassador to Ireland, Hon Loyola Hearn and John Sullivan, Trade, was also with Minister Ritz and his party.
The visit happened as a result of an invitation from Freda Kinnarney, Secretary Tullamore Show & AIB National Livestock, to Minister Ritz, during her visit as part of an International Marketing group, to the Canadian Bull Congress, in Camrose, Alberta last January. Minister Ritz was unable to accept her invitation to attend the Tullamore Show & AIB National Livestock last August, but then planned to stop off from his trip to Germany to visit Tullamore and meet with the group that visited Canada. The other members of the Irish delegation to Canada last January and who met with Min Ritz and his party were Gerry Smyth, Angus Beef Irl., Paul McCartney, Dunbia, Liam Cahill, Lakeland Dairies and Frank Fitzpatrick BoI.
The International Marketing of the Canadian Bull Congress started in 2006. The goal was to open further marketing opportunities for Canadian producers and hence the international inbound/outbound programs. Visitors from UK, Ireland, Denmark, US A, along with other countries have been involved in this programme. Producers welcomed the opportunity to showcase their cattle and genetics to "the world". It also provides the opportunity to establish key contacts/key stakeholders. Funding for these programs is from the Canadian Bull Congress and CBBC (Canadian Beef Breeds Councils) which has access to federal government monies.
The Bridge House Hotel provided the venue for the very cordial meeting, which was attended by Honourable Gerry Ritz, P.C, M.P, Canadian Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Ms. Kristina Namiesniowski, Assistant Deputy Minister, Market and Industry Services Branch, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ambassador Loyola Hearn, John Sullivan, Trade, Freda Kinnarney and Rodney Cox and Christy Maye, Tullamore Show & AIB National Livestock Show, Gerry Smyth, Angus Beef (Irl), Padraig Browne and Paul McCartney, Dunbia and Liam Cahill, Lakelands. Mr. Matthew McBain
Policy Advisor, Minister's Office and Mr. Jeffrey English, Press Secretary, Minister's Office was also in attendance. Minister Ritz was very happy to have the opportunity of discussing the various elements of Irish Agriculture with those present, particularly as Canada is very close to reaching a framework agreement with the European Union on establishing a comprehensive free trade zone encompassing virtually every sector of economic activity.

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