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Toronto, June 27 (IBNS): Jeff Leal’s, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, discussion during a meeting in Springfield, Illinois and St. Louis, Missouri earlier this week with Raymond Poe, Director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture leaders, focused on benefits of two-way trade between their jurisdictions, strengthening agri-food trade to ensure growth of their economies, media reports said.
“In fact, agri-food trade between Ontario and both Illinois and Missouri totalled nearly $3.2 billion in 2016,” said Leal.
Leal also met, while in Missouri, with local agri-food business leaders, including Dot Foods, Gilster-Mary Lee and Nestlé Purina companies who have supply chain relationships with both Missouri and Ontario and said, “these businesses rely on an open border for access to food ingredients, packaging and customers.”
Acknowledging the continued guidance, support and expertise of leaders from Ontario's agri-food sector during his visits to Illinois and Missouri, Leal said, his future meeting with his Advisory Committee on Agri-Food Trade would focus on continuing to foster the relationships between Ontario and U.S. counterparts.
“With the upcoming renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) set to begin later this year, our government will continue to emphasize the benefits of two-way trade to keep our economies and communities vibrant, both now and in the future” stated Leal.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)