Minister Ritz Concludes Mission to South Korea and Looks to Boost Business Opportunities in Japan

March 20, 2015 – Tokyo, Japan – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Following his second visit to Vietnam earlier this week, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz concluded his fifth agricultural trade mission to South Korea and his seventh trade mission to Japan.

In Seoul, Minister Ritz met with Korean Agriculture Minister Lee Dong-Phil to urge South Korea to lift its temporary ban on Canadian beef. He underlined the need for science-based approaches to trade and market access for Canadian agri-food products now that Canada and South Korea have a free trade agreement in place. Minister Ritz also attended the Canada Beef Inc. branding series and helped position Canada’s high quality beef with many key Korean buyers.

In Tokyo Minister Ritz met with Japanese Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Mr. Yoshimasa Hayashi. Both Ministers agreed on the benefits of free, science-based trade. He also participated in Canada Beef Inc. events to showcase Canadian beef to important Japanese importers.

Minister Ritz joined Canadian industry to meet with the Japanese Grain Importers and Flour Millers Associations to promote sales of high-quality Canadian wheat. Both the importers and millers thanked Minister Ritz for the Government’s efforts in ensuring that Canadian grain is moving to port in a timely manner.

Quick facts

  • Canadian agri-food and seafood exports to Japan totaled $4.1 billion in 2014, an increase of 50.26 percent since 2006.
  • Japan is Canada’s third-largest trading partner in agriculture and food, and second largest market for meat and cereals.
  • In 2014, Canadian beef exports to Japan were worth over $103.2 million.
  • Canada and South Korea enjoy a free trade agreement which entered into force on January 1, 2015. It is Canada’s first free trade agreement in the Asia Pacific region.
  • Canadian agri-food and seafood exports to South Korea totaled $622 million in 2014, an increase of 26.51 percent since 2006.


“The Pacific Rim is critically important to our agriculture industry and the Canadian economy. This mission gave me the opportunity to reiterate the importance of science based trade and to help connect Canadian industry with future buyers of their top quality products. Increasing our agricultural trade puts more dollars in the pockets of Canadian producers and processors, and grows our overall economy.”

– Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz

“The Canadian beef branding series is one part of the evolution of our business development internationally. The leadership and support of Minister Ritz is confirmation not only for our industry, more over the Korean market and our partners, that Canada is committed and will be a reliable and trusted supplier of choice.”

– Jack Hextall, Chairman of Canada Beef.

Additional link

Minister Ritz Promotes Canadian Beef and Creates Agricultural Trade in Vietnam


Jeff English
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
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