The ambitious Canada-EU trade agreement will bring many benefits to agriculture in Alberta.  The Honourable Rob Merrifield, Chair of the Standing Committee on International Trade says it's great news for agriculture as well.

Merrifield says agriculture representatives from the canola, beef, and the hog industries are all excited about what this means for their specific sectors. He says it's a great opportunity for the hog industry because the EU will want more hams, and it will also give the beef industry opportunity to sell more aggressively.  

"It's not only agriculture manufacturing and so on, it's about $12 million of benefit per year for Canada, about $1,000 per household," he explains. "They are talking about 80 thousand jobs so this is a very big pre-trade agreement." Merrifield says this is a very big step to capitalizing on international markets.  

"It's not done yet, but it is progressing extremely well. We have a representative group from the EU in Ottawa next Wednesday,"  he says. "It's an in-camera session but we'll glean as much as we can from them with regard to how it is progressing, but we're hearing from the negotiators it's going very well."  Merrifield adds they are very encouraged and it is great news for Canada.