Canadian Cattlemen's Association working to diversify beef export markets

In addition to maintaining or improving current trade relations, the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) is also focused on diversifying beef exports. However, the work comes with challenges.

Back in June, China had requested Canada to hold off its export certificates to the country. Since then, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has submitted the technical work to China. According to Fawn Jackson, senior manager of government relations and international trade with the CCA, it’s been quite a waiting game.

As far as Jackson is concerned, the current trade disruption shows the need for diversified market access.

“That’s one of our asks, for example, with CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership) – is their other countries that should be joining? Because certainly what has helped us move our way through this trade disruption has been our access into other markets,” she explains to RealAgriculture’s Kara Oosterhuis at the Canadian Beef Industry Conference. (Story continues below player.)

“So for example we have access, good access into South Korea, we have access into the CPTPP markets — with Japan really being the key one there — but then other markets around the world such as Europe. So having diverse options of where we can send Canadian beef certainly helps us ride out the storm.”

She notes there also have been a couple challenges shipping into the European market, which is another area CCA has requested assistance with from the federal government.

“For the European market we have to have an on-farm verification or audit, that shows that it’s growth hormone free. So we’re looking at whether or not veterinarians are the only ones that need to do these audits. We know that veterinarians are extremely busy people, so can we use other very robust audit programs such as the one that’s associated with VBP+ (Verified Beef Production Plus) to do some of these audits,” she says.

“I think we are leaving a lot of opportunity on the table if we don’t tackle these technical issues that we are having right now.”

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