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Slovenia at Apimondia 2019

Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Aleksandra Pivec has begun her visit to Canada today. On the first day of her visit, Ms Pivec attended the Apimondia International Apicultural Congress that also featured a Slovenian Day. This year, Slovenia has its own exhibition area at the Apimondia Congress where it is represented by the Slovenian Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and Slovenian Beekeeper’s Association (SBA), and by the institutions and companies associated with beekeeping. The Slovenian Agriculture Minister also met with the representative of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food of the Province of Quebec Sylvain Lacombe with whom she discussed cooperation between the two countries and the areas and products that are of interest to consumers in the two countries.

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Agriculture Minister Alexander Pivec has begun her three-day visit to Canada today. On the first day of her visit, Ms Pivec attended the events at the Apimondia International Apicultural Congress. At the international meeting of beekeepers, Slovenia is presenting itself as a country with a great beekeeping tradition, expert apicultural knowledge and equipment, beekeeping products and as the country that initiated the proposal for the proclamation of 20 May as World Bee Day. At the ‘Slovenian Day at Apimondia’ event, Ms Pivec presented Slovenia as a land of beekeeping. She highlighted the importance of pollinators for food security, knowledge transfer, and the opportunities Slovenia offers in this area. In its Programme of Excellence in Beekeeping, Slovenia has set the goal of becoming the leading country in the development of knowledge and innovation in beekeeping, the conservation of Carniolan bee diversity and pollinator biodiversity.

The event was followed by a round table under the title ‘The Knowledge of the Hive’, which drew attention to the integration of beekeeping traditional knowledge and experience with science. At the Apimondia Congress, Slovenia is represented by the Slovenian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food, and Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association, Agricultural Institute of Slovenia, Biotechnical Faculty, Veterinary Faculty, Novo mesto’s Grm School of Agriculture, the Slovenian Tourist Board, Radovljica Apicultural Museum, and the Medex, Logar, Apiloger, Kunstelj and Pislak Bali companies.

As an important institution for the transfer of knowledge around the world, the Beekeeping Academy of Slovenia is also participating in the congress this year. Through the Academy's work, Slovenia pursues the goal of becoming the leading country regarding beekeeping knowledge and innovation development and thus a net exporter of new beekeeping skills, practices and technological solutions. As part of her visit to Apimondia, Ms Pivec met with a number of apiculture representatives from all over the world with whom she exchanged good practices and interests in closer cooperation. The Apimondia International Apicultural Congress is now in its 46th year. It was established in 1949 in Amsterdam and currently brings together 114 members from 77 countries.

Today, Ms Pivec also met with Sylvain Lacombe, a representative from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food of the Province of Quebec. In their discussion, the two highlighted a shared interest in increased cooperation where the two countries should identify the areas and products of mutual interest. They specifically mentioned the area of education and research, in which Slovenia is seeking closer cooperation. They also expressed interest in making joint appearances at international events for the purposes of promotion and boosting trade in goods. Ms Pivec drew particular attention to Slovenian winemaking and the top-quality wines that Slovenia would like to offer to Canadian consumers. They shared their interest in cooperating in digitalisation.

Tomorrow, Ms Pivec will meet with Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Chris Forbes, attend the ceremonial handover of a photograph featuring the image of a bee to the Canadian Museum of Nature and visit an experimental farm. In addition to the Agriculture Minister's visit, the Ministry will be holding two promotional events in Vancouver and Toronto where Slovenian food products and wines will be presented.