GOV.SI

Slovenia and Canada have several potential areas of cooperation

Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Aleksandra Pivec spent the second day of her Canadian visit in Ottawa. Ms Pivec met with Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Chris Forbes at the Ministry of Agriculture and Agri-Food. She also attended the ceremonial handover of a photograph featuring the image of a bee to the Canadian Museum of Nature and visited a research institution – an experimental farm.

Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Aleksandra Pivec visited the Ministry of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada today where she met with Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Chris Forbes. The two praised the excellent organisation of the 46th Apimondia International Apicultural Congress, where Slovenia left its mark in terms of its visibility and reputation. Canada, with more than 8,400 beekeepers and a total of more than 672,000 bee colonies, is interested in increasing cooperation in this area. Ms Pivec also highlighted the possibility of exporting queen bees to Canada. The Administration for Food Safety has already informed the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) of Slovenia's interest and their further decision is subject to a prior assessment of the risk posed by the importing of queen bees from Slovenia. Cooperation in the beekeeping sector is also possible in terms of bee products and food supplements with which Slovenia would like to enter the market in Canada, but there are currently some obstacles to including such products in the list of medicinal products. Canada's agriculture system is highly-developed and adapted to large areas, with an average farm size of 314 hectares (compared to 6.9 ha in Slovenia). Therefore, the two also saw opportunities for cooperation in innovation and digitalisation. They touched upon some other topics in terms of interesting products to both markets, risk management in agriculture and insurance, and wildlife management.

Today, Ms Pivec attended the ceremonial handover of a photograph featuring an electron micrograph of a bee to the Canadian Museum of Nature. This is a follow-up to one of the events held within the activities organised by the embassies to mark the second anniversary of World Bee Day. Ms Pivec then visited the experimental farm operating within the Ottawa Research and Development Centre. The Centre was established in 1886 and conducts research activities on 425 hectares of experimental fields and plots and on 27,000 square metres of laboratory space. The Centre is focused on crop development, primarily corn, spring wheat, winter wheat, oats and barley. It also supports studies conducted at other centres in the areas of food safety, mycotoxins and biocontrol. Its main research focus lies in three areas, namely the genetic enhancement of crops, the biodiversity of vascular plants, fungi, bacteria and invertebrates, as well as the integrated assessment of the long-term environmental effect of agricultural practices.

Tomorrow, Ms Pivec will meet with Ontario's Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Ernie Hardeman in Toronto. She will attend a business and promotional event in which Slovenian food products and wines will be presented. The first such event was successfully held in Vancouver today.