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Minister Pivec: "I believe that Slovenia has good prospects for increasing trade in goods with Canada"

On the last day of her visit to Canada, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Aleksandra Pivec attended Slovenia's promotional event presenting Slovenian businesses to potential business partners and the media. Ms Pivec met today with the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs of the Province of Ontario, Ernie Hardman, and representatives of Slovenians living in Canada.

Agriculture Minister Aleksandra Pivec met today with Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs of the Province of Ontario Ernie Hardman. Their discussion highlighted the importance of today’s visit in particular in terms of opening up opportunities for more tangible cooperation in the future. "It is of particular importance that we have identified the area of our future cooperation; we will remain very open to communication with your Ministry in support of the opportunities to increase trade in food processing industries and, above all, the procedures to ensure the safe and smooth movement of goods," Ms Pivec remarked.

The talks also highlighted other specific areas of cooperation which are of interest to Slovenia, including the increased cooperation between research institutions and the transfer of knowledge into practice, innovative technological processes in food production, digitalisation in agriculture, the trade of goods and services in the beekeeping sector, the export of food supplements based on bee products and the export of queen bees. The two ministers also drew attention to the CETA Agreement which is currently undergoing the ratification process in Slovenia and which, according to the Slovenian Minister, creates new opportunities for cooperation between the two countries.

Ms Pivec then attended the second event aimed to promote Slovenian business in Canada under the title ‘Discover and Feel Slovenia’. The event focused on presenting Slovenian food products and top-quality wines to Slovenia’s potential business partners, distributors, trade chains and media. The response was very encouraging and the Canadian partners showed great interest in importing high-quality Slovenian products.

The event featured the presentation of ten Slovenian winemakers (Metlika Wine Cellar, Radgona d.o.o., Kobal estate, Doppler, Joannes, Rebula Winemakers, Kristalvin, Emino House of Wines, Druzovič Winemakers, Mervič – JNK Cellar) and the companies Podravske vrtnine z.o.o (Ptuj onion), Piranske soline (Piran salt), Kocbek (Styrian–Prekmurje pumpkin seed oil), Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association (Slovenian honey) and Planika Dairy (Tolminc cheese). The participants were able to taste Kraški pršut (Karst-region prosciutto) and Kranjska klobasa (Carniolian sausage). The Slovenian Ministry organised the same event in Vancouver which evoked a very positive response and attendees showed an interest in future cooperation.

Ms Pivec concluded her official visit to Canada by visiting Slovenians living in Canada. She assessed the visit as very successful. "A country as large as Canada offers Slovenia many opportunities to increase cooperation in view of the fact that Slovenians are historically connected to Canada as it is the home of one of the largest Slovenian communities abroad. I estimate that we have good prospects for increasing trade in goods, in particular high-quality boutique brands from the Slovenian food processing industry and wine sector. Furthermore, we have also established the first substantial contacts for the integration and cooperation of research institutions with a view to creating, transferring and sharing knowledge to introduce innovative technological solutions and digitisation methods in agriculture, boost productivity and competitiveness, and to simplify work for producers; and here I see a window of opportunity for Slovenia to become acquainted with the practices used in Canada and to transfer them to a certain extent also to the Slovenian agricultural and food processing profession."