The province is retaining the title as the country’s top agri-food exporting province for the fifth consecutive year.
The past year saw a record-setting total sales total of $15.1 billion, which means the province is exceeding the 2020 Growth Plan target to date.
In 2015, Saskatchewan exceeded the ambitious target laid out in the Saskatchewan Plan for Growth that established goals in this and other sectors. The goal was to export $15 billion of agriculture and agri-food products by 2020. But that target has now been surpassed according to shipment and sales records that indicate Saskatchewan’s agri-food products have met the demands of 145 countries. This is an increase of eight per cent from 2014 and a 136 per cent increase since 2007.
“Agriculture is the foundation of our province and remains a prominent economic driver, supporting our provincial finances as we deal with the downturn in the resource sector,” said Lyle Stewart, the province’s agriculture minister. “We were confident the industry would meet our Growth Plan target by 2020, but our farmers, ranchers and agri-businesses have once again, exceeded our expectations and reached the target five years ahead of schedule.”
Diversity and variety are key components of the steady growth while the provincial government said they remain focused on major development and trade advocacy to ensure the high quality products Saskatchewan produces move freely to new and existing markets like the European Union, China and South Korea. The recent signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership is encouraging and ratification of the agreement is essential to ensure access to the 800 million consumers this market represents.
“International trade drives our province’s economy and continued access to Asian markets will benefit our agriculture and value-added sector,” Steward said. “Being part of this ambitious agreement is in the best interest of Canada and Saskatchewan.”
Saskatchewan had sales of at least $200 million to 15 countries. The top three export destinations were the United States, China and India.