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German minister for food and agriculture visits P.E.I.

Minister Christian Schmidt met with Canadian counterpart Lawrence MacAulay to discuss CETA, sustainability

By Nicole Williams, CBC News Posted: May 22, 2017 6:18 PM ATLast Updated: May 22, 2017 6:18 PM AT

German Federal Minister for Food and Agriculture Christian Schmidt (left) meets with Minister Lawrence MacAulay in P.E.I. on his way to Washington.German Federal Minister for Food and Agriculture Christian Schmidt (left) meets with Minister Lawrence MacAulay in P.E.I. on his way to Washington. (Nicole Williams/CBC)

German Federal Minister for Food and Agriculture Christian Schmidt joined his Canadian counterpart Lawrence MacAulay Monday at MacAulay’s farm in St. Peter’s Bay.

The pair held a meeting Monday morning along with several advisors to discuss agriculture, sustainability and the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

“We are going to do a study on food waste issues with a focus on the use of precise, precision farming, the use of pesticides and fertilizer,” said Schmidt.

Schmidt compared Germany to P.E.I., stating that the two places shared similar values regarding trade, sustainability and wanting to set an example for other countries in their responsibility to climate change.

The ministers also announced each country’s scientists will share their research and information, with a plan to send Canadian scientists to Germany and vice-versa to study agricultural and sustainable technology.

It’s an exchange of information that MacAulay said will benefit farmers on the Island and across the country.

“We want to make sure our farmers here and across Canada are aware of what’s taking place and that we want to have more investment, more innovation in agriculture,” said MacAulay. “We want to produce more with less.”

CETA

There have been several demonstrations across Europe against CETA, including in Germany, but Schmidt said the majority of Europe supports ratifying the agreement and hopes to be an example for doing so.

“CETA could be blueprint for such a new way of responsible, sustainable and comprehensive trade arrangements,” said Schmidt. “I’m a supporter and I encourage all my European fellows that we should go ahead with the ratification as soon as possible.”

The ministers said that Monday’s talks will bring Canada and Germany’s relationship to a higher level.

Germany is Canada’s eighth-largest export market and ranks fourth among Canada’s suppliers.

P.E.I. is the German minister’s latest stop before heading to Washington, D.C.

This will be his first visit to the U.S. during Donald Trump’s presidency.