Issues Delay Full Access for Canadian Beef, Pork to Europe

CANADA & EU - The Canadian Meat Council says unresolved technical issues will give European Union beef and pork producers and processors an advantage over their Canadian counterparts under the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, Bruce Cochrane reports.
calendar icon 25 September 2017
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Provisions of the Canada European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement which affect market access for red meat took effect last week.

Ron Davidson, the Director of International Trade, Government and Media Relations with Canadian Meat Council, says technically CETA will provide access to Europe for up to a billion dollars worth of Canadian red meat products but our beef and pork producers and processors will be unable to take full advantage until outstanding technical issues have been resolved.

Ron Davidson-Canadian Meat Council

There is a provision in the current CFIA regulations which require that the EU health mark be applied at the production plant.

However, in order to export pork to the European Union, we also have to undergo a cold treatment which usually takes place in a cold storage and the industry needs to be able to apply that health label to the boxes in the cold storage because all of the production that's eligible for the EU won't actually be sold to the EU.

We'll only be selling certain cuts from each carcass so it's very important that we apply the EU health label only to the boxes that are going to Europe, not to those that will be going some place else.

With respect to some pork producers and most of the beef production we also use antimicrobial treatments in Canada which have not been approved by the European Union so there is additional research required on the antimicrobial part.

Mr Davidson says in the case of pork it's possible for many plants to ship but the current requirements are cumbersome and should be easily resolved but, in the case of beef and some pork establishments, it'll take years to do all the research needed to get the approvals for new antimicrobials.

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