The governments of Canada and Ontario announced that Guelph will host the annual conference of federal, provincial and territorial agricultural ministers in 2020.
Taking place in July next year, the focus of the 2020 Federal-Provincial-Territorial Agriculture Ministers Conference will be 'Strong Agrifood: Strong Economy.' The event will highlight leading issues to help grow the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector as well as highlight Ontario's and Guelph's leading role as a worldwide hub for research and economic development in the sector.
"As a world class hub of agri-food innovation and a winner of the Smart Cities Challenge for their Circular Food Economy proposal, Guelph is a perfect venue for the annual conference of Federal-Provincial-Territorial (FPT) ministers of agriculture," said Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. "The meeting provides a forum for ministers to discuss opportunities for sector development and growth. We look forward to working together to explore agri-food leadership and innovation in Guelph in 2020."
"Our government is excited to bring together this important gathering and showcase the hard-working people who make our agri-food and agricultural industries the best in the world," said Ernie Hardeman, Ontario's Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. "This event will also provide a unique opportunity to reinforce Canada's appreciation of our province's vibrant agri-food sector and the incredible contributions made by a variety of Guelph-area organizations, institutions and people."
"Guelph's agricultural roots stretch back to our city's founding in 1827, and we are proud to be a hub of agri-food and agri-innovation today. We are thrilled to be chosen to host this conference. This will be a chance to shine a spotlight on local innovations and opportunities, such as Guelph and Wellington's successful bid to become Canada's first circular food economy," said Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie.
"The University of Guelph stands at the centre of an agri-food research and innovation hub based in the Guelph area," said University of Guelph President Franco Vaccarino. "Along with our numerous regional partners, we look outward to address important challenges and seek out opportunities, both nationally and internationally. We welcome the opportunity this event affords to showcase our collective capacity to help the agri-food sector grow and meet emerging challenges."
The Guelph area is home to several leading agri-food research centres of excellence supported by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and the Government of Ontario, such as the University of Guelph, the Livestock Research Innovation Centre, and the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario. It is also the headquarters of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
The announcement took place immediately following a roundtable session on Wednesday where Minister Hardeman and Ontario agri-food industry leaders met to discuss Ontario's priorities heading into the 2019 event.
The 2019 Federal-Provincial-Territorial Agriculture Ministers Conference will take place in Quebec City, from July 17-19, 2019.
Ministers, Deputy Ministers and other senior federal-provincial territorial leaders gather at the FPT conference to discuss issues of importance for the agriculture and agri-food sector such as Business Risk Management programming for farmers.
About 90 delegates are expected to attend the conference.
Ontario last hosted the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Agriculture Ministers Conference in 2009.
The agri-food sector in Ontario contributes $39.5 billion to the province’s economy and supports more than 822,000 jobs.
Ontario’s agri-food sector is one of the most diverse in the world, with 49,600 farms that produce more than 200 commodities.