Langley, BC October 16, 2015 – The BC Food Processors Association (BCFPA) is pleased that the 12 members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) have successfully concluded negotiations on a historic free trade agreement this past week, but remains cautiously optimistic until more details of the Agreement and its implications for food and beverage manufacturers are understood. Full details of the Agreement are yet to be released to the public.
“While we feel that the TPP could help to fuel BC’s Food, Beverage and Natural Health Products Processing sectors by reducing regulatory barriers on exports, we are reserving judgement on the overall benefit to our industry until more details become clear,” said James Donaldson, CEO of the BCFPA.
“The market reality is that Canada is currently running a $6.8 Billion trade deficit on processed foods. Specific to B.C., this province imports more than twice as many food products as it exports; a deficit that has widened significantly since 2010,” says Donaldson. “In addition, Canada delivers among the highest-quality and safest foods in the global market. This is partly due to Canada’s strict regulatory and labelling environment, which translates to a higher cost of goods. This can negatively impact our competitiveness in the global export market vs. lower cost countries. Government and industry must work collaboratively to find solutions to address this,” he added.
“Eliminating trade barriers and creating a level playing field for exporting is only one component for a sustainable food industry in Canada and BC,” says Rick Gagner, Chair of the BCFPA. “Some of the responsibility will rest with the sector to embrace a new way of working, collaborating and innovating. Industry leadership is a must. The BCFPA will continue its mandate to position the industry to compete and grow locally and globally; and to serve as the industry’s advocate,” said Gagner.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership is an international trade agreement among 12 countries: Canada, the United States, Mexico, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Chile, Peru, and Brunei. The 12 member countries of the TPP form a significant and strategic alliance of advanced and growing economies. The TPP market represents nearly 800 million consumers and a combined GDP of $28.5 trillion — nearly 40 per cent of the world’s economy. The agreement includes some of the fastest growing economies in the world.
About the BCFPA
The BCFPA is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to represent all segments of the food, beverage and natural health products processing industries, and to coordinate common industry activities and resources under one umbrella. The Association represents micro, small, medium, and large processing companies. Food & Beverage processing is the largest manufacturing sector in BC, with over 1,500 companies. The industry contributes over $8 billion in revenues and more than 28,000 jobs to the provincial economy.
For more information, please contact James Donaldson 604-371-4245.