BANFF, Alberta – Canadian Pork International (CPI) will receive C$15 million ($13.5 million) from the Canadian government in support of marketing initiatives aimed at opening more markets to Canadian pork products.

CPI, the export promotion agency of the Canadian pork industry, will use the funding to target existing markets such as Japan and new markets such as the European Union and South America. The organization plans to develop in-store and printed promotional products as part of its strategy. Market research and international missions are also part of the group's plan.

“Canada Pork International and its members are very grateful for the financial assistance provided by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to support the implementation of its 2013-2018 Domestic and International Canadian Pork Marketing Strategy," said Edouard Asnong, chair of Canada Pork International. "After several difficult years, it is important that the profitability of the industry be improved. For that purpose, our strategy aims at better differentiating Canadian pork in the most lucrative markets, including the domestic market, by promoting its high-quality attributes, its quality control programs, and its production systems."

The Canadian pork sector generated C$3.2 billion ($2.9 billion) in export sales in 2012. The Canada-EU trade agreement gives the Canadian pork sector market access of up to 80,000 tonnes of pork that industry experts estimate could result in C$400 million ($359.9 million) in new annual sales.

"The Canadian pork sector provides high-quality pork at competitive pricing and is well positioned to compete in both established and emerging markets," Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. "This new investment will continue to provide Canadian pork producers with the tools they need to grow demand for their product, increase their profitability, and strengthen an industry that supports so many Canadian farms and families."