“This week I had the privilege of representing Alberta’s agriculture sector at the 2023 Tri-National Agricultural Accord in Saskatchewan.
“Alberta is known worldwide for its robust agriculture sector, with the U.S. and Mexico remaining huge export markets for our province. We are proud leaders in sustainable agriculture and are setting new records for agri-food production and exports.
“Current drought conditions are making it difficult to maintain the growth in our agriculture industry, which is why I took the opportunity to speak with federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Lawrence MacAulay to emphasize the urgent need in Alberta for AgriRecovery disaster relief.
“Through trilateral and bilateral sessions with senior state officials from Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, we were able to discuss significant agricultural trade and development issues in North America.
“Open trade and reduced barriers are crucial to our relationship. Alberta firmly opposes changes proposed by the U.S. to renew a mandatory country of origin labelling system for agri-food products. Stricter labelling regulations would have long-term repercussions for both countries and individual states and provinces.
“I am also concerned about Mexico’s rejection of biotechnology agricultural product applications and the uncertainty it could cause for agricultural trade between Alberta and Mexico. The biotechnology we use in Alberta is safe and is allowing our agriculture sector to address challenges in food production.
“As co-chair for the animal disease session, I strongly emphasized the need for collaboration as we tackle threats like African swine fever, foot and mouth disease and highly pathogenic avian influenza. I’m pleased to say delegates agreed to support enhanced communication and coordination on animal disease surveillance prevention and rapid response.
“I am encouraged that all three nations represented are committed to continuing to work together towards a stronger and more prosperous North American agriculture industry.”