Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on
Agriculture and Forestry
Issue 29 - Evidence - Meeting of May 26, 2015
OTTAWA, Tuesday, May 26, 2015
The Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry met this day at
5:05 p.m. to study international market access priorities for the Canadian
agricultural and agri-food sector.
Senator Percy Mockler (Chair) in the chair.
The Chair: Honourable senators, I see that we have a quorum. I declare
the meeting in session.
I welcome you, honourable senators and Mr. Paulson, to this meeting of the
Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry. My name is Percy Mockler,
senator from New Brunswick and chair of the committee. At this time, I will ask
senators to introduce themselves.
Senator Tardif: Good afternoon. Senator Claudette Tardif from Alberta.
Senator Moore: Good afternoon, Mr. Paulson. Nice to see you here.
Wilfred Moore from Nova Scotia.
Senator Maltais: Welcome. Senator Maltais from Quebec.
Senator Oh: Senator Oh, Ontario.
Senator Unger: Senator Betty Unger, Edmonton, Alberta.
Senator Ogilvie: Kelvin Ogilvie, Nova Scotia.
The Chair: Thank you, honourable senators. As our witness today, we
welcome, from the Canadian Institute of Food Science and Technology, Dr. Allan
Mr. Paulson, thank you for accepting our invitation to share with the
committee, as per our order of reference from the Senate of Canada on free trade
agreements, your opinion on what's to come. With your experience, I now invite
you to make your presentation, which will be followed by senators asking
questions. Again, on behalf of the committee, I welcome you.
Allan Paulson, President, Canadian Institute of Food Science and
Technology: Thank you very much and thanks for the invitation. It's a
pleasure to be here. My name again is Allan Paulson. I'm President of the CIFST
or Canadian Institute of Food Science and Technology. My day job is professor of
food science at Dalhousie University in Halifax. I teach primarily food
chemistry, food processing and so on.
For those who are interested, I'm also a certified professional sommelier, so
afterwards if you would like food and wine pairings, I'd be happy to help you.
Getting back to the presentation, the CIFST was founded here in Canada in
1951. It's the only organization that links food science professionals across
the country and across sectors, so industry, government and academia. The
mission of the institute is to promote food science and technology as a means to
ensure a safe, nutritious, wholesome and varied food supply.
We have about 1,100 members. About 60 to 65 per cent are from industry,
mainly processors and suppliers. We have a very high student component, 20 to 25
per cent who are undergrad students to PhD. We have about 10 per cent academics
and about 5 per cent from government, so we have the full spectrum.
I'd like to just talk briefly about some of the opportunities and challenges
for the food processing sector, primarily with respect to export, first of all
As we all know, we have a growing, worldwide demand for food, and not just
food in general but safe, high-quality and high-value-added food. The world
population, as we're all aware, is predicted to reach about 9 billion people by
the year 2050. Between the years 2007 and 2050, it's predicted that total world
food consumption will increase by about 70 per cent — it will be 70 per cent
higher in 2050 than in 2007 — and nearly half of that will be from China alone
with their increasing middle class. That's one opportunity.
Another opportunity is demographic. Most people in this room are similar in
age to me, more or less, and there's a huge expanding market for food for the
elderly that hasn't really been tapped into yet. However, it has been estimated
that by 2030, 20 per cent of North America's population and 25 per cent of
Europeans will be 65 years of age and over. It's estimated that of the 9 billion
people in 2050, about 2 billion will be seniors.
As we get older, we lose sensory acuity, such as vision, hearing, taste,
smell, et cetera. We lose cognitive acuity. We get physically weaker, we have
difficulty swallowing, and the nutritional requirements change, so this creates
a real opportunity for developing foods to meet this growing demographic.
At the same time, we have an epidemic of diet-related, chronic,
non-communicable diseases like diabetes, hypertension, obesity and some forms of
cancer. This is another opportunity for foods and food products that will meet
the needs of people with those diseases.
Related to that, the global demand for health and wellness products is
booming. Presently, it's at about US$750 billion and rising. Canada is actually
quite strong in this market. We have about 300 companies taking part, so I can
see that we'll be able to take advantage of that opportunity.
We have an increased demand for ethnic foods, at least domestically. About 17
per cent of households shop at ethnic stores, and that hasn't been fully tapped
One thing we're at the cusp of is personalized nutrition. This is based on
nutrigenomics. This is where parts of our diet are personalized due to our
genetic makeup. If anyone wants examples, I can provide some later.
We also have a very strong R&D capacity in the country. We have many food
researchers and research institutions across the full spectrum. We have
academia, government and tech centres as well as pilot plants. We actually have
a lot of resources for food research.
One of the challenges has to do with the makeup of the sector. The food
processing industry, as you know, is very large, but the majority of the
companies are small. In 2009, about 84 per cent of the food processing sector
was made up of companies with fewer than 50 employees, but these represented
only about 17 per cent of sales. By contrast, the four largest companies made up
about 42 per cent of sales.
The small and medium-sized enterprises are often limited in their ability to
access funds for research and development and expansion, and if they want to
make health claims — if they're in the health food market, for instance — the
cost of clinical trials is very high. They're also vulnerable to the realities
of the food industry, where about 90 per cent of new products fail for one
reason or another. If you're a larger company, you can bear that, but if you're
a small company, that's a major hit.
Secondly, the sector itself is quite fragmented. There's no single unifying
body. They have no check-off system for accessing granting programs that require
matching funds, such as GF2, and they also don't have a single list of R&D
priorities because those priorities change depending upon the size of the
Finally, there are research and development challenges across the sector. We
really do have a lot of potential for R&D capacity, but it's not being
optimized. We have excellent researchers. We have excellent resources, but
they're spread out across the country. The research culture isn't really geared
to multi-sectoral research. We don't have a culture or a history of, for
example, scientists working with health professionals working with lawyers, et
cetera. That's something that we're going to have to change if we want to take
advantage of these opportunities that have come up.
I'll stop there. I'm not sure how long that was, but I think I've probably
said enough at this point, and I welcome questions.
The Chair: Thank you, Mr. Paulson.
Senator Ogilvie: Professor Paulson, you didn't really touch on this
aspect, but I can't imagine that you don't have possibly both experience and
certainly some interest and knowledge of the area.
We're looking at trade barriers and their implications, and we know that
certain countries have used non-tariff barriers to foods. Particularly, one
specific example is putting a zero limit on detection for, let's say, pesticides
or something of that nature. You're very familiar with today's analytical
techniques that allow us to measure; we can find almost anything almost anywhere
today, numbers that have no consequence in terms of serious impact.
There is an issue that has reached a major international crisis point, and
that's antibiotic resistance. I'm going to digress for a moment and then come
back to the food issue. The WHO has declared it a world pandemic. The British
Parliament has used the same language, but it really hasn't seized populations
worldwide very much. I'm not going to go into what countries should be doing
about that specifically, but it seems to me that it's not going to be long
before countries will use the fact that in many countries, including our own,
antibiotics are used on a wholesale, uninhibited scale in animal growth as part
of their food supply. The evidence is based on a nearly 40-year-old article
around which there's considerable question as to whether antibiotics really do
give any real growth impact from a truly scientific point of view, but they're
used wholesale. Farmers can buy them by the truckload and use them without any
serious regulation. This is now being identified as an increasing possible
impact on the development of antibiotic resistance and so on.
I'll come to my question around the trade issue. Some countries could start
declaring that food produced under conditions where antibiotics are used in a
non-prescription manner in animal rearing poses a worldwide threat, and,
therefore, they could use this as a non-tariff barrier to the importation of
food from those countries.
I'd like to get any general thoughts you might have on that and whether you
would see a potential benefit to Canada's international trade in this area if
Canada were to declare itself free of that practice. We know there's a certain
amount of voluntary withdrawal from it now, and certain major companies —
McDonald's, for example — are requiring that beef will only be used if that
isn't the case.
Would there be a potential international marketing advantage if Canadian
animal and poultry producers were able to declare that their products were
developed from animals raised free from the wholesale use of antibiotics?
Mr. Paulson: That's a really good question. My personal view is that
it would be somewhat similar to, say, GM or something like that. From the point
of view of the safety of the food, I doubt there would be a detectable
difference in the product itself as far as antibiotic and non-antibiotic.
But from the point of view of perception or what people think, they may
perceive that it's less safe. From that point of view, yes, there probably would
be an advantage to declaring yourself antibiotic-free, the same way as if you
declared yourself GM-free or organic or whatever.
Senator Ogilvie: I agree with you entirely, and I should have made it
clear. I wasn't thinking you would argue the food is safer but that humans are
safer as a result of the reduction of the impact on the development of
antibiotic resistance. In other words, Europe and other countries have shown
themselves to develop policies that impact on general areas of health and so on.
The point here is that it's a practice where there's not sound evidence showing
that wholesale use of antibiotics in food production really does give growth
stimulation, more rapid growth of poultry or animals.
So I'm thinking more from the pure marketing strategy sense as opposed to any
difference in the food that is produced. That wasn't part of my thinking. You
clarified that. Thank you.
Senator Tardif: Thank you, Mr. Paulson, for a very interesting
presentation. You mentioned that there are serious research and development
challenges facing many areas in Canada, especially in the food industry. I note
that the OECD has indicated that research and development expenditures in the
Canadian private sector have declined between 2001 and 2012. In your view, why
is the private sector spending less on research and development?
Mr. Paulson: I'm thinking that with so many really small companies,
they're operating pretty close to the bone and they really don't have a lot of
extra money for R&D. Unless they can get a pretty good leveraging of their funds
through various programs, I think financially it's very difficult for them to
carry out R&D.
Senator Tardif: What could be done to stimulate further private sector
Mr. Paulson: One thing would be to get away from a one-size-fits-all
funding formula for research where the industry has to put up so many dollars,
like 50 per cent or whatever. That would probably be more palatable for larger
companies, but if you're a really small company, if the actual amount that you
had to put up was less as a proportion of the total, you should still have some
contribution, but it really is a deterrent to research.
I was the associate scientific director for a network of centres of
excellence, the Advanced Foods and Materials Network, which went from 2003 to
2010 and is now carrying on as a private, not-for-profit company, AFM Canada
Inc. We had several different types of programs, some of which were quite close
to commercialization. Others, of course, were much further upstream. Even under
the most favourable conditions, it was really tough to get money per se out of
companies. You could easily get in-kind and that sort of thing, but they just
don't have a lot of money floating around.
Senator Tardif: With the work you do in the area of quality and safety
in the food supply, do you see that your scientific findings are being
transferred and that they're being applied, for example, to new technologies, to
innovation? I know that's the hope, but how much of this is really happening?
Mr. Paulson: That's hard to say because we don't actually track what
the metrics are and who is going to do the tracking. I think that is kind of a
failure of our present system. There are lots of good inventions, but getting
that invention from the lab bench through pilot plants and into
commercialization is extremely difficult financially. The valley of death from
the lab bench through to proof of principle and commercialization is really
tough to get funding for. I just don't know what else to say. It's tough.
Senator Tardif: Thank you for your comments. I'll leave it at that for
Senator Maltais: Welcome, Mr. Paulson. It is nice to see you. You are
also a professor at Dalhousie University, I believe. Is that the only university
associated with your organization?
Mr. Paulson: The question was is Dalhousie the only university? No.
Let me see. Across Canada there are 13 or so universities with food science
programs or food and nutrition, as well as colleges. So we have many touch
points for academics across the country.
Senator Maltais: For example, is the Institut de technologie
agroalimentaire in Saint-Hyacinthe part of your group?
Mr. Paulson: Is the research centre at Saint-Hyacinthe affiliated with
our university? Not specifically, although we do have collegial interactions.
That's an Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada research station.
Senator Maltais: I imagine it is the same thing for Guelph, Ontario,
and other universities.
Canada has signed about a dozen free trade deals with various countries. Of
course, each country has its own requirements. In your opinion, what would be
the two or three best features these products could have in order to meet the
demand from these new countries that are now among those buying Canadian?
Mr. Paulson: I don't think I understood the question.
Senator Maltais: Canada has signed about a dozen free trade deals with
various countries. So we are primarily exporters. What would be the best feature
of the products we manufacture to meet the demand of these various countries —
who are not all on an equal footing? What are the two or three main attributes
these products should have?
Mr. Paulson: Yes, I understand. What are the main attributes that our
products should have in international trade?
Canada is well known for high quality, for safety, for pretty good
traceability and purity. So if a product comes from Canada, then it has a very
good reputation as being the real deal, and I think that it commands a premium
because of that. I think that's probably, for me, the most important part, right
now anyway, with respect to foods.
Senator Maltais: Other witnesses have said that the marketing of
Canadian products should be done not by the government, but by private
companies. When private companies want to market products abroad, of course,
they rely on research centres, experts and universities. However, I do not feel
that it is up to the government to fund this activity. The witnesses have
clearly said it is up to the exporters to fund this activity. I would like to
hear what you have to say about that.
Mr. Paulson: Not being an exporter myself, I can't say. My opinion is
that there's probably room for both, in that the Canadian brand is something
that could be touted by government. We have the Canadian flag. We have the
Canadian brand — purity, high quality, et cetera — the things that as a general
rule people are looking for.
But specifically, if you want to sell a certain type of product or a
particular product, then I would think that that might be the responsibility of
Part of the problem with the food processing sector is that unlike, for
example, a commodity group — beef, for instance — there's no check-off. Beef
producers, for every animal they sell, I believe $1 per animal goes into a
check-off fund, and about three quarters of that I believe is used for marketing
and then a quarter is used for research. So they have an advantage with respect
to promoting Canadian beef.
The food processing industry doesn't have that, so it's more difficult to
promote the industry as a whole that way because no single company really has
the funds to do that.
The Chair: Senator Moore, if you would permit me to follow on a
question from Senator Maltais.
Dr. Paulson, I'll give you a quote and then a question. According to
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, nearly half of the value of Canadian primary
agricultural production is exported as raw or processed products. Would you
comment and inform the about committee how we can improve international market
access for Canadian agri-food products when we look at emerging markets in the
EU and the TPP?
Mr. Paulson: My personal feeling is that we need to add value. It's
like selling a pound of butter; you don't make much money off of a pound of
butter, but if you use that butter as an ingredient, in say a croissant or
something like that, then you have the multiplier effect. If we can improve our
value-added food products, the quality, the number, et cetera, and for specific
targets — for example, we might be looking at products that offer better
nutritional value or whatever based upon some nutraceutical that comes from a
Canadian commodity — I think that gives us an edge. Just selling the commodity
itself I don't think brings nearly as much profit as value added.
Senator Moore: Thank you for being here, professor. I was interested
in your comments with regard to demographics. You mentioned something about
2030. I didn't get the percentages. In North America the population 65 years and
older would be a certain per cent.
Mr. Paulson: About 20 per cent, apparently.
Senator Moore: Is any nation targeting that demographic specifically
in terms of products and all the things you mentioned, which I didn't think
about, like different senses in terms of being able to smell, swallow, all those
things? Is your institute looking at that? Is anybody making a concerted effort
to try to get a leg up on the market potential of those people?
Mr. Paulson: It's starting, but so far it's pretty well untapped. I
see this as just being an incredible opportunity. You know yourself that if you
want to improve consumption and if your sense of smell or taste isn't as good,
then you have to have products that will have better taste. If you can't chew
very well, you need softer foods, but they still have to be high-quality foods
and even more nutritious.
Senator Moore: I think you said the health and wellness business is
$750 billion a year. Is that in Canada?
Mr. Paulson: That's globally.
Senator Moore: You said there are 300 companies in Canada who are, I
guess, producing health and wellness foods. What is health and wellness? Is that
the supplements, the vitamins you see in the health sections of stores? What are
we talking about when you refer to health and wellness?
Mr. Paulson: Nutraceuticals and functional foods, so supplements are
one part of it but also, for example, omega 3 fatty acids. A company in
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Ocean Nutrition, microencapsulates omega 3 fatty acids,
so that's part of it. You can get orange juice now, for instance, with
phytosterols. It's these types of products that have enhanced nutrition, usually
by adding something, or the supplements themselves. The supplements would be
things like extractives. You get a bioactive compound out of a food material and
you concentrate it and then sell that to be consumed, usually in pill form or
caplet or something like that.
Senator Moore: You mentioned the high cost of clinical trials. I have
a friend who is an investor in the United States, and he says it costs half a
billion dollars to get a product through the FDA and then into the market. Is
there some kind of an average cost in Canada? Are we talking about clinical
trials for such things as health and wellness items? What were you talking
Mr. Paulson: I was talking in terms of health and wellness. If you
want to make a health claim where you say something like "this product will do
this," then you have to have evidence for that. The best evidence is where you
have a clinical trial with humans and it's done in a facility that's set up for
this. They're very expensive to do. You have to pay the subjects, the
researchers, et cetera.
We have several clinical trial facilities in this country, and they are well
known and much respected. In fact, we have a network of three of them — Laval,
St. George's in Toronto and the Richardson Centre in Manitoba — and they're
linked. They have a common coordinator. They use the same methods, which is very
important, but they are also able to tap into different people.
Senator Moore: Do they share in the ownership of the intellectual
property that comes out of these trials?
Mr. Paulson: Probably not, if they're hired just to do the clinical
trial testing. Unless they had some stake in it, I couldn't see where they would
have any intellectual property.
Senator Moore: So they've been hired by somebody else as an idea?
Mr. Paulson: Yes.
Senator Moore: You said there is no check-off system. What do you mean
by that? What's a check-off system? Who should be doing it, and where should it
Mr. Paulson: If I'm a beef producer and I belong to the association —
I can't remember the name of it — or, if I'm a milk producer, for every litre of
milk that I produce, some portion, a penny or whatever, goes to the
organization, to a fund. This fund is then used to promote that industry as a
whole through marketing. For example, the Dairy Farmers of Canada, that sort of
thing. Then a portion is also used for R&D.
When you have funding programs like Growing Forward 2, where they require the
industry to have some contribution, that's your industry contribution. For the
food processing industry, they don't have that. They're very fragmented. They
don't have one organization. Part of it is that they're pretty small to begin
with. It would be tough for them to come up with a penny for a product. But
also, who should pay? With the food processing and retailing sector, should it
be the processor? Should it be the retailer? Should it be both? These things
haven't been worked out.
Senator Moore: So does that also lead to your comment about the
metrics? Who's tracking? We have a letdown in that area. Did you talk about the
metrics in terms of what you just spoke about, the R&D and the check-off thing?
Is that what you were thinking of when you mentioned metrics?
Mr. Paulson: No, what I was thinking of was the previous question. If
there were a product or a process that was either invented or discovered and
then made into a food product, I think the question was what percentage of those
inventions are actually incorporated into food products. That's hard to say.
It's really tough to say. There are some.
Senator Moore: So your organization doesn't do that kind of tracking?
Mr. Paulson: No, we don't.
Senator Ogilvie: This time I'll switch back to things closer to your
direct issue. You talked about innovation.
Before I do that, I'll make a comment with regard to Senator Moore's question
regarding clinical trials. You can't have someone conducting a clinical trial on
something that it has a financial interest in. Then you would compromise the
issue. It's the inventor or the producer that pays for the cost of the clinical
trial, and the intellectual property resides with them.
You've correctly identified the valley of death and other challenges to
transferring a good idea on paper into something that can actually reach the
market. Recently, the farming community in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia
has moved into, from my perspective, a very different era in terms of their
approach to agriculture and the value added to products, developing a number of
— especially in the fruit and berry industries — innovative products.
Could you give your impression of the emerging activity in this area from our
home province and whether you see a bright future in this area?
Mr. Paulson: I think that it's a really good step in the right
direction. One type of product is based on haskap berries, for instance. These
are like the super berry with respect to antioxidants and so on. They've really
seized on that. That's an example of food for health, so you can put haskap
berries into other things.
That's one example, but, as far as other examples, they don't really come to
mind. The wine industry is doing quite well.
Senator Ogilvie: The apple producers have come together and have been
developing some innovative juice drinks based on the use of the previous
by-product or waste product, the peel and so on. The peel is showing the great
interest in the antioxidants that everybody is trying to identify. As well, they
are packaging processed apples, for example, in a number of different ways, such
as the specially packaged slices. Those are value-added products that fall into
the category of innovative developments in these areas and the opening up of new
markets. It was a kind of broader approach.
Certainly, the wine industry has been developing in Nova Scotia, but that's
moving along a more traditional line. Actually, it's a very modern development,
but I was thinking more in terms of innovative uses of berry and fruit products.
It seems to me that there are some fairly serious entrepreneurial efforts under
way from the great farming enterprises in the Annapolis Valley.
Mr. Paulson: I agree with you. I've had an opportunity to visit some
of those companies. They're applying the best science available, the best
research and technology, and they're actually making a commitment to come up
with new, innovative products. To their credit, the major stores really try to
promote, in this case, Nova Scotia produce.
The Chair: Thank you. I have a question before I recognize Senator
I was listening yesterday to a program, a demographer from Toronto talking
about Atlantic Canada, specifically Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, I believe. I
was caught by the statement you made that of the 9 billion people that we will
need to feed, 2 billion will be seniors. That was your statement.
The demographer was saying yesterday — I won't go to the next level, the
level of social programs, the level of economic activities — when he came to
agriculture, that we will need to produce dietary food for the seniors of
tomorrow if we are going to continue leading in agriculture in Canada,
especially when you see that Canada is the top global trader of agricultural
products per capita today. What would you recommend on that?
Mr. Paulson: Yes. We have a lot of room for improvement. We have quite
a trade deficit with respect to manufactured food products. I think it's about
$6.8 billion now, but we have a lot of opportunity to use our agricultural
commodities in products that will be beneficial to seniors. We have to have the
will to do it. It has to be a priority, but who's going to set the priorities?
We don't have a national food policy or food strategy. Without that, I think it
will continue to be fragmented, whereas Australia has very recently come out
with a national food strategy. They have goals, priorities, basically a road
map. They've created an organization to oversee this, and they're one of our
From my point of view, we finally got food onto the national science and
technology priority list, but that's not enough. We really do have to make sure
that we recognize the food processing industry and food as the number one
industry in the country. It has really taken a back seat to other sexier
industries, but when you look at the value to the economy, it's extremely
valuable, and the potential to be even more valuable is very high.
I think that if we can come up with a national food strategy as a nation, and
we set priorities and we fund appropriately for upstream, for the midstream, the
valley of death and then near market, we can really hit above our weight as far
as global food production.
Senator Tardif: I understand that the Canadian Institute of Food
Science and Technology has an international liaison committee.
Mr. Paulson: Yes.
Senator Tardif: What type of work do you do with your international
counterparts? Are they our competitors? What type of research projects are you
working on with them? What's the story?
Mr. Paulson: That's the international liaison committee. The Canadian
Institute of Food Science and Technology is the organization in Canada that does
the things that I said we did earlier. It basically links together food science
professionals. There are about 90 or so other countries that have similar
organizations, and most of these organizations are members of the International
Union of Food Science and Technology, or IUFoST. In fact, Canada has a strong
presence in this organization. The current president, Rickey Yada, is a
Canadian. He's at UBC. The secretary general is a Canadian. Last year, in 2014,
we hosted the World Congress of Food Science & Technology in Montreal.
The types of things that the international liaison committee does depends on
which countries you're talking to, if they're developing countries, what are
best practices, what are regulatory issues. With other organizations, you would
be looking at, for example, research, what types of research, what's on the
radar. It's kind of a mixed bag that way, but at least it's a linkage. We talk
to other countries on a regular basis, and we have this larger body that
facilitates that. We do a lot of interaction with the Institute of Food
Technologists, which is in the U.S. They're huge by comparison. Their food
industry is massive. It's good for us to have that link because we can find out
what's going on there and we have a good exchange of information.
Senator Oh: Thank you, professor. In my experience, I just came back
from a trip to China. I went to the food expo and helped one of our Canadian
food producers promote maple syrup, blueberry juice, flaxseeds and Canadian
roasted coffee — first time I saw it.
A lot of people came to the booths. We were doing a lot of photo ops and
helping to boost our products. I said, "Let's go to the supermarket across the
street," a huge supermarket. I said, "Let's go and see what products they have
on the shelf." I couldn't find anything. In the end, someone found a bottle of
ice wine in the supermarket. Whole rows of Australian agricultural food
products, the U.S., New Zealand, but we couldn't find one item from Canada.
Something is wrong.
Mr. Paulson: I agree. We have a very good international reputation,
but I don't know why they wouldn't be on the shelves. One of the advantages we
have is authenticity and traceability. If that says "Canadian ice wine," there's
a good chance it is. But fraud and counterfeiting is rampant. It costs the
estimate of about $15 billion a year globally just in counterfeiting food
products. If you're able to track and trace, verify the production all the way
from farm to bottle, and if you have ways of making sure that someone hasn't
just popped the cork out of the bottle and filled it up with something else.
Canadian ice wine is highly prized. I was over in Spain two or three years
ago, and a small bottle of Canadian ice wine in this fairly small town in Spain
was on the shelf for around 200 euros or so. It was phenomenal. First of all, I
couldn't believe that they had a wine shop like that, because they had some
really high-end wines. But here, what do you pay for ice wine? Nowhere close to
that. So they are really paying a premium for the Canada brand. I'm very
disappointed to hear that —
Senator Oh: Our farmers or export companies are not aggressive enough
to promote the Canadian brand?
Mr. Paulson: Although we do have trade missions often, so I'm not sure
why that actually hasn't developed into goods on the shelf. That's not my area,
but it's just my impression.
Senator Oh: Thank you.
The Chair: Dr. Paulson, thank you very much for accepting our
invitation and for sharing your opinions with us. If you feel you want to add
anything as we go forward in tabling the report later on, please don't hesitate
to connect with our clerk.
On this, honourable senators, I declare the meeting adjourned.
(The committee adjourned.)