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CFA Balks At Cairns Statement

The Canadian Federation of Agriculture refused to fully endorse the communiqué coming from the Cairns Group Farm Leaders (CGFL) meeting, held in Bali, Indonesia June 9 on how to move the Doha Development Round forward.

The final communiqué, presented to the Cairns Group Ministers, expressed the Farm Leaders’ continued support to reignite the WTO Doha Development Round in the interests of farmers, but failed to echo the fair and equitable trade approach the CFA advocated for in the meeting, or recognize the need for continued improvements to the December 2008 modalities text.

“While we were a strong participant at this meeting, the CFA was not entirely comfortable with the final communiqué, as we had hoped for a more balanced approach,” said president Laurent Pellerin in a release. “Canada is conscious of its diverse needs within the agricultural community to gain further market access abroad while serving our domestic market within Canada.”

“The Government of Canada’s trade position has traditionally been in alignment with that of the CFA and we continue to support the Canadian government and its negotiators in pushing for the adoption of this balanced position in this round of WTO negotiations.”

The Canadian government is a member of the Cairns Group. Only six of the 19 Cairns Group countries attended the Farm Leaders meeting, including: Indonesia, Australia, South Africa, Paraguay, Canada and New Zealand. CFA officials said they were disappointed that more countries were not represented.

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