More than 25 countries are represented during the Cairns Group Ministerial Meetings in western Canada this week.

Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz is co-hosting the meetings in Saskatoon.

"We have about 125 delegates coming from 25 different countries. It allows us to showcase agriculture here in Canada...of course agriculture is a major part of all these countries' economies. Canada is no exception to that fact," he says.

Some of the discussion will focus on moving forward with ag issues at the WTO.

"It's that, as well as beyond. Canada is an ambitious trader. We have a balanced trade agenda, and we want to maintain that trade agenda based on sound science. There are a number of issues we like to discuss at venues like this," says Ritz. "When you have 25 countries talking about trade, it's always a good thing."

As well, for the first time, Canada will lead the Cairns Group members in a discussion of how innovation and a science-based approach to international trade can positively impact market access and global food security issues.

The Cairns Group is a coalition of 19 agricultural exporting countries. It's members include both developed and developing nations from North  includes 19 developed and developing countries from North and South America, Africa and the Asia-Pacific region.