Although there’s no official statement released on the prime ministers website yet, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has tweeted out that Canadian pork and beef exports to China will resume.
To note, the prime minister thanks newly appointed Ambassador to China, Dominic Barton. He’s had the position since September 4th, and was quoted saying, “The relationship between Canada and China is an important one, and I will work hard to represent our great country and to resolve the challenges that currently exist.”
Good news for Canadian farmers today: Canadian pork and beef exports to China will resume. Thanks to Ambassador Barton and the Canadian meat industry for their work on re-opening this important market for our meat producers and their families.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) November 5, 2019
It’s been more than four months since China suspended imports of Canadian pork and beef. The temporary ban began after China found falsified veterinary health certificates for Canadian pork shipments.
Organizations applaud the news
The president of the Canadian Meat Council (CMC) is thanking everyone involved in resolving the issue that the organization said was costing Canadians upwards of $100 million.
“Our long-standing trade relationship with China is very important to both sides and this represents an important step for both countries” says Chris White, president of the CMC. “This is great news, especially on the eve of an industry-led mission to China that CMC has organized to meet with Chinese officials at all key ports where product lands to ensure a smooth operation moving forward.”
The Canadian Pork Council says the news is very timely, as Chinese pork supplies have been significantly reduced by the outbreak of African swine fever. “Producers look forward to help meet the demands of Chinese consumers for wholesome, high-quality pork,” says René Roy, CPC’s second vice-chair.
CPC’s first vice-chair Hans Kristensen will travel to China next week as part of the Canadian Meat Council trade mission. “This mission to China is very timely and will allow us to deepen our understanding of the market’s requirements and strengthen our relationships with Chinese importers” Kristensen says.
In 2018, China was Canada’s third largest pork market, totalling $514 million in sales.
Meanwhile, the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) vice president says they’re looking forward to the discussions ahead.
“The Canadian beef industry looks forward to the resumption of trade and continuing to build the long-standing Canada-China trade relationship,” says Bob Lowe, CCA vice president and chair of the foreign trade committee.
Since the temporary ban, the CCA has been actively engaged in discussions with government officials to help assure China of the safety of Canadian beef in order to resume access as soon as possible. According to the CCA’s news release, the Government of Canada completed an investigation and submitted an Action Plan that has led to the re-establishment of exports to China.
In the first half of 2019, exports of Canadian beef to China were up 299 per cent in volume and 271 per cent in value at 11,315 tonnes valued at $96 million. The CCA will also be in China in the coming weeks of November to continue to build on the Canada-China trade relationship.
Canola Council responds
A statement sent to RealAgriculture from the Canola Council of Canada states:
“Canola seed exports to China remain blocked. We hope today’s good news for the livestock industry helps create momentum to restore access for what used to be Canada’s most valuable export to China — canola.”
Those who grow canola have been without China to export to since the third week of March. The latest update from the Canadian Government was back in September when Minister Carr announced they’re seeking bilateral consultations at the WTO.