LETHBRIDGE - The Southern Alberta region has a key role in helping Canada maintain its position as an exporter of food and agricultural products, Farm Credit Canada's principal agricultural economist said Wednesday.
Craig Klemmer was discussing a pair of reports released by FCC ranking Canada's position in world trade. It found that Canada is fifth overall for agricultural commodities, and the 11th biggest exporter of agri-food products.
"If we look at some of the top commodities that we're exporting, it plays very well into what Lethbridge is contributing to," Klemmer said in an interview. "Either as a seed manufacturer -- when I think about canola seed, the hybrid canolas are produced in Lethbridge area and spread across the prairies, and then sold into the export market.
"But then also the cattle market, and beef protein is a major export market that we have, as well as the poultry. And when we look at Lethbridge, absolutely a very major contributor to the overall success of Canada's exports."
Klemmer said Canada's diversity helps position it to improve its ranking in the years to come, to potentially third or fourth overall.
"We're not dependent on one commodity. We have a broad based group of commodities - pulse crops, grain and oilseed crops, proteins -- beef and hog proteins -- and then a number of other specialty crops," he said.
He added the Lethbridge region is in the forefront of innovation and meeting changing consumer demand, both domestically and internationally.
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