News release

Nova Scotia Signs Agriculture Agreement

Nova Scotia and eight other provinces and territories signed an agreement today, June 27, to move forward on a national agriculture policy.

"This agreement further enables us to offer programs that will help address issues and priorities within the agriculture industry," said Ernest Fage, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries.

The agreement has five key areas -- food safety and quality, science and innovation, skills and renewal, the environment and the management of business risks on the farm.

The federal/provincial/territorial framework agreement on agriculture and agri-food for the 21st century is a comprehensive, long-term commitment to the agriculture sector by the federal, provincial and territorial governments. It aims to ensure that the Canadian agriculture industry remains a world leader in food safety and quality and environmental practices and innovation.

"Now that we have a general broad agreement that lays out the guidelines, the department can move forward and negotiate the implementation agreements with the federal government," said Mr. Fage. "There could be a number of bilateral agreements with the federal government and we will want to discuss program development with the industry."

Industry and government consultation has taken place since last year when in Whitehorse, Yukon, the ministers met and agreed to develop an action framework.

Mr. Fage noted that the department is already working co- operatively in a number of areas with the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture in developing future programming in risk management and environmental farm planning. Furthermore, many commodity groups are a long way down the road in the development of food-safety protocols, ability to trace products from supplier to market, and technology development. Mr. Fage said this agreement will enhance these initiatives.

He noted that Nova Scotia's agri-food exports exceed $180 million each year. These programs will further strengthen Nova Scotia reputation as a supplier of world-class product.

The minister congratulated his colleagues for coming to this agreement and acknowledged the hard work by the ministers and officials over the past year in bringing the agreement to a conclusion.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Nova Scotia and eight other provinces and territories signed an agreement today to move forward on a national agriculture policy.

The agreement signed at Province House this afternoon (June 27th) will help address issues and priorities within the industry.

Agriculture Minister Ernest Fage says there has been a lot of discussion leading up to the agriculture agreement. He thanked all the ministers and their officials for their efforts to reach this point.

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Contact:

Natalie Webster
Agriculture and Fisheries 902-424-0192 E-mail:
kjd            June 27, 2002       3:56 P.M.