Minister Ritz Welcomes First Meeting of Agri-Innovators on Innovation and Growth

TORONTO, ONTARIO — (Marketwire) — 11/29/12 — Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz welcomed the first meeting of the new Agri-Innovators’ Committee today. Announced by the Harper Government in September to complement the renewed focus of Growing Forward 2 on innovation, the Agri-Innovators Committee will begin discussions on key areas of focus for advancing innovation in the agricultural sector.

“Innovation has shown it helps increase productivity, reduce costs, and advance sustainability in the agriculture sector-a sector that helps create jobs and economic growth for Canada,” said Minister Ritz. “The work of this committee will be integral in providing industry advice and expertise to ensure investments made by governments generate the results and returns needed by Canadian producers and processors in a global economy.”

The Committee is the first national body to provide advice to the Minister on agricultural innovation. The Committee comprises successful innovators with a broad range of expertise and skills, representing many agricultural sectors from across Canada.

“As co-chair of this new committee, I look forward to working with my colleagues in the sector to explore ways to ensure the long-term prosperity of the sector,” said Travis Toews, Co-chair of the Agri-Innovators’ Committee and former President of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. “This committee will provide a useful forum for experts in the industry to share our experiences and engage in discussions on how to enable competitiveness and productivity through innovation.”

A number of food processors and producers on the Committee have also been invited to attend the Agri-Processors/Producers’ Summit in Toronto on November 30, where they will discuss opportunities to enhance innovation and improve the efficiency of the supply chain. The Summit is a joint initiative by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

Backgrounder

Terms of Reference – Agri-Innovators’ Committee

1. INTRODUCTION

Canadian producers are well positioned to take advantage of expanding opportunities in domestic and global markets. Agricultural policy in Canada is being fundamentally transformed with an increased focus on proactive and strategic investments. A critical element of this transformative agenda is prioritized funding for activities along the innovation continuum that will increase productivity, reduce costs, and advance sustainability. Greater government-industry-academic collaborations will drive new areas of scientific discovery based on the required applied science, technology and development, and knowledge transfer activities. This will ultimately lead to the development, commercialization, and adoption of new products, processes, technologies, and practices throughout the sector. A broad cross section of expertise on the innovation needs of the sector will be necessary to ensure that innovation investments lead to results for the sector and positively impact farmers’ returns. Further, coordinating the efforts of various stakeholders within the Canadian agri-innovation system is key to efficiently and adequately address the needs of the sector. The Agri-Innovators’ Committee (the Committee) is being established as an important means of acquiring such industry input.

2. MANDATE

The Agri-Innovators’ Committee will advise the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food on issues consistent with the Minister’s responsibilities and relevant to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) mandate and priorities. The Committee will provide advice on various aspects of innovation for the sector, with a view to accelerating the development and adoption of innovation to make the sector more profitable, competitive, and sustainable.

3. RESPONSIBILITY

4. RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE MINISTER AND CO-CHAIRS

5. COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP

6. MEETINGS

7. CONFLICT OF INTEREST

8. CONFIDENTIALITY

9. FEES AND EXPENSES

10. SECRETARIAT SUPPORT