Ontario ag minister concludes trade trip to Japan and South Korea


Ontario’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Ernie Hardeman, is back in the province after leading a trade mission to South Korea and Japan.

Joining the minister was Vic Fedeli, Ontario Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation, and several industry members, representing Ontario farmers.

In an op-ed released following the trip, Hardeman says, “It has been a tough year in agriculture – especially for some parts of the sector that affected by trade challenges. Beef, pork, soybean, and other grain seed farmers and processors have been particularly hard hit by ongoing trade disputes.”

With stops in Seoul, Osaka, and Tokyo, the trade mission met with more than 100 businesses with the goal of opening up new markets or expanding existing ones for Ontario-based food and food products.

Hardeman noted the outcomes of the trip include:

  • Signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Korea Importers Association, a first step in developing more trade opportunities for Ontario-produced goods.
  • In Japan, Ontario Corn Fed Beef and Kinsho Stores signed a collaboration agreement that will increase the availability of Ontario beef products in Japanese grocery stores.

“The success of this mission is clear from the agreements we signed and the important meetings we had while overseas, which I’m certain will translate into even more investments and opportunities in the future. I want to thank those who joined us on this trade mission, including 11 delegates from the agri-food sector representing over 49,000 Ontario farmers. Their partnership, hard work and dedication were key to its success and truly opened doors to grow businesses and create good jobs in the province,” Hardeman says.

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