On Thursday, Canada's Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Marie-Claude Bibeau, departed for Niigata, Japan to participate in the G20 Agriculture Ministers' Meeting.

The focus this year is innovation, value chains, and sustainability.

“The G20 provides an excellent forum for discussing emerging issues affecting the agriculture and agri-food sector," said Bibeau. "With my counterparts from the world’s major economies, we will discuss the importance of a reliable and science-based international trading system, global animal health issues and innovation. I will promote our high-quality Canadian products and the commitment of our producers to maintain our competitiveness in global markets.”

Bibeau will meet with officials from various G20 countries to advance Canada’s agricultural trade interests and discuss new ways of diversifying into markets that have emerged through Canada’s recent free trade agreements.

With the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) now in force, Canada is the only G7 nation that has free trade agreements with all other members across the Americas, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific.

New export markets for canola will be one of the issues discussed.

Bibeau will conclude her visit in Tokyo where she will meet with key Japanese industry organizations from the grains, oilseed and meat sectors to emphasize the mutual importance of rules-based trade.

The G20 is a forum of the world's major economies that meets to develop policies to address the world's most pressing challenges.

It is made up of 18 countries besides Canada, as well as the European Union.

The 18 countries are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.