by BETTER FARMING STAFF
The money’s nearly spent but government officials representing Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada were in Innerkip Tuesday to announce $1.3 million in funding to the Canadian Swine Exporters Association (CSEA).
During the event, officials did say the money was for fiscal 2011-2012, which happens to end March 31, 2012. It's intended “to help the Canadian Swine Exporters Association (CSEA) increase its international marketing and promotion of Canadian purebred swine genetics,” stated a federal government news release.
Rosemary Smart, the association’s international marketing programs coordinator, put it in perspective when she said, “This is actually old news. This is last year’s funding that expires March 31 this year.” She says they’ve applied for a similar amount for the next fiscal year. They hope that funding request will be approved by the beginning of the 2012-2013 fiscal year, which starts April 1.
The money announced today has been used to promote Canadian swine genetics and the sale of breeding stock and fresh and frozen semen worldwide. Smart says association efforts lead to annual sales of $40 to $50 million.
The funding helps association members to attend international trade shows, to pay for seminars and for training programs, some of them providing individual, specialized training for buying clients. It also helps fund overseas trips to promote Canadian swine genetics and it helps pay to welcome international visitors to Canada who come to buy Canadian swine genetics.
“We have incoming visitors from about 20 different countries coming into Canada,” Smart says. The money helps pay for travel, meals and accommodation while they are here. They are taken to swine facilities and universities and often pick out the breeding stock they want to buy while on association sponsored tours.
The association has a staff of three, including one person in Beijing operating their China trade office.
Some of the remaining fiscal 2011-2012 money will help fund a trip to Vietnam. The International Livestock and Dairy Expo is set for March 22-24 in Ho Chi Minh City. Smart says there will be four association members at the expo promoting Canadian swine genetics.
CSEA funding is provided by the AgriMarketing Program under Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Growing Forward program. BF