Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and International Trade Minister Ed Fast were in Ottawa today to announce an expansion to Canadian beef and livestock producer export opportunities.
Negotiations in Qatar have resulted in its approval of all beef imports from Canada, a significant step in a market that could reach $2 million annually, according to industry estimates. This announcement follows the 2012 approval of sheep and goat imports to the region.
“Not only does Qatar have one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, Qatar imports more than 90% of its food requirements,” said Henry Mizrahi, Canadian Meat Council President, in a release. “The Canadian meat industry appreciates and welcomes the successful negotiation of full beef access to the Qatari market.”
Further west, Honduras has restored market access for live Canadian cattle, 11 years after restrictions followed the country’s infamous BSE findings. This development builds on the October 1st entry into force of the Canada-Honduras Free Trade Agreement, an agreement that will ultimately see the removal of 98% of each country’s tariff lines.
“Access to the Honduran market for live cattle provides an excellent framework for our members to build strong business relationships in that market and an additional avenue to demonstrate the safety and superior quality of Canadian cattle genetics to the world,” said Michael Latimer, executive director of the Canadian Beef Breeds Council.
In 2014, Canadian beef exports hit 70 markets, with values totalling $1.3 billion.