Trade Mission Advances Beef Access to China

CANADA - Canadian Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz has completed his third successful trade mission to China in less than a year.
calendar icon 7 July 2010
clock icon 3 minute read

During the mission, China agreed to take the vital regulatory step to formally lift the ban on Canadian boneless beef under 30 months (UTM) and tallow for industrial use, from 3 July.

This essential move, taken just over a week after the initial agreement for full staged Chinese market access for Canadian beef, is a clear indication of the strong trade partnership between Canada and China.

"There's a world of opportunity for our producers in China, and that future is built on a history of strong trade partnership," said Minister Ritz.

"This is a vital step forward in the breakthrough agreement that will see Canada's safe, high quality beef back on Chinese store shelves and more black back on the bottom line for producers."

Minister Ritz kicked off his mission by serving up the first plates of Canadian beef available in China in almost a decade at the Shanghai World Expo 2010 with Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada in celebration of Canada Day.

Also on hand was Gib Drury, Board Chair of the Canada Beef Export Federation, and Travis Toews, President of the Canadian Cattlemen's Association, who rolled up their sleeves to help cook up and promote the special delivery of Canadian beef, as well as Canada's world-class pork in a delicious canola marinade.

To celebrate 50 years of agricultural cooperation with China, Minister Ritz hosted a second barbecue, in Beijing. Minister Ritz presented a plaque to the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture to commemorate 50 years of agricultural cooperation that started with the first wheat shipments to China which saved thousands of people facing famine due to drought and marked the beginning of the strong agricultural relationship that exists today between the two countries.

Building on continued interventions at multiple government levels by Minister Ritz, the Canadian Wheat Board signed a memorandum of agreement with COFCO, China's largest government food processors, which will double wheat sales to China over recent years. The agreement to sell 500,000 metric tonnes by the end of 2011 is worth $130 million.

Minister Ritz continued to press his counterparts to remove access restrictions on Canada's signature canola crop and emphasised the need for Canada and China to find a long term solution to address current restrictions.

Minister Ritz acknowledged progress has been made on this issue, as Canada recently secured an extension of transitional measures to allow canola producers to export their 2010 canola crops to China.

Canola is one of Canada's most valuable exports to China. For the 2008 crop, exports to China were worth C$1.3 billion.

"I will continue to raise, at every opportunity, the canola restrictions with my Chinese counterparts as we work together to reach a lasting agreement to permanently lift restrictions on Canadian canola exports to China," said Minister Ritz.

China is the world's number one producer and consumer of agriculture products. With a growing population of 1.3 billion, China represents tremendous market potential for Canadian agriculture and food products.

China is Canada's third-largest trading partner after the United States and European Union, with two-way trade of over C$50 billion, including C$3 billion in agriculture and food.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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