JBS Foods Canada has announced a long-term commitment with Kanematsu, a Japanese food service and distribution company.

Japan imported 49,317 tonnes of Canadian beef valued at $353.5 million in 2019.

The company will focus on using Alberta Beef-branded product, including Northern Gold and the Canadian Diamond Black Angus brand, in development of this overseas partnership.

“We are excited to see JBS Foods Canada place emphasis on the Alberta Beef brand as they develop partnerships overseas. This is a strong reflection of the hard work and dedication beef producers in Alberta, and across Western Canada, put into raising exceptional beef. The opportunity to market more beef outside of Canada is positive for the entire industry,” says Kelly Smith-Fraser, chair of Alberta Beef Producers.

JBS Foods Canada says that Alberta beef is well known and admired around the world.

“We believe Kanematsu will be a tremendous leader and promoter of this new program, and we thank them for their trust in our farm, ranch and feedlot families,” says JBS Foods Canada president, David Colwell.

Japan is the second highest importer of Canadian beef, behind the U.S.

Imports of Canadian beef into Japan were running 11 per cent higher (in volume) for 2020 and for 21 per cent more value before the COVID-19 economic shutdown kicked in. August 2020 numbers puts beef exports down nine per cent year-over-year at 29, 454 tonnes for a value of $211 million.

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