Canada Beef welcomes announcement of expanded access agreement with China

June 17, 2014 – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Minister Gerry Ritz has announced a formal agreement between Canadian and Chinese officials to provide access for Canadian bone-in beef from animals under thirty months of age, as well as access for live cattle.

“The expanded market access we agreed to today will ensure our agriculture producers and processors are competitive in the lucrative Chinese market,” said Minister Ritz.

A full implementation of bone-in beef access for animals under thirty months of age will grow the total Chinese market for Canadian beef will grow to nearly $240 million annually, according to industry officials.

Since 2003, China has emerged as Canada’s second largest trading partner, accounting for over $5.6 billion in Canadian agri-food and seafood exports in 2013. Beef exports to mainland China took off in 2013, reaching 6,000 tonnes valued at $25 million, up from 1,500 tonnes valued at $5.4 million in 2012. Growth in Chinese beef consumption is expected to be supplied by imports over the next three to five years.

“We deem China to be a coveted destination of choice. We will increasingly leverage our global brand to solidify loyalty and demand for Canadian beef,” said Rob Meijer, President, Canada Beef. “We need to ensure we can provide consistent supply to meet the growing demand in this market and strengthen trust for the Canadian Beef Brand across the market through to consumers.”

Canada Beef, the organization responsible for the marketing and promotion of the Canadian cattle and beef industry worldwide, is accompanying Minister Ritz, federal officials and other agriculture groups on a three-city trade mission in China this week.

The delegation will include more than 70 people representing over 30 agricultural groups and four provinces to expand and improve trade access, continue to build on research and science collaboration, showcase Canada’s agricultural capabilities, and promote increased imports of Canadian agricultural products including Canadian beef.

Canada Beef will be presenting to select groups of Chinese market influencers throughout the mission, focusing on the emotional and technical aspects of the Canadian Beef Advantage (CBA) to increase long term value of Canadian beef and veal in the market.
Canada Beef will also join the World Meat Conference (WMC), industry seminars and host a roundtable discussion in Beijing with nearly 40 Canadian and Chinese government officials, including Minister Ritz, and importer representatives.

Chuck MacLean, Chair, Canada Beef, added that he is pleased to see such strong continued support for the Canadian beef industry.
“Canada Beef is proud to join Minister Ritz once again to help us promote our world class product in markets around the world,” he said.
The Canada Beef team in China will support the development of additional branded Canada Beef programs and strategically focus on programs to maximize carcass value through market research, product development, new channel development and promotion.
With the federal government’s recent announcement of four new Canadian trade offices in China, Canada Beef is poised to ramp up activities in China alongside the trade commissioners. Efforts include facilitating hands-on educational opportunities to feature the Canadian Beef Advantage, with the ultimate goal of creating Canadian beef brand awareness and loyalty.

About Canada Beef:
Canada Beef is the cattle producer-funded and run organization responsible for domestic and international beef and veal market development. It has offices in Canada, Mexico, Japan, China and Taiwan. Canada Beef works to foster loyalty to the Canadian beef brand and build strong relationships with trade customers and partners. These efforts increase demand for Canadian beef and veal and the value producers receive for their cattle.

For more information, please contact:
Ron Glaser, VP Corporate Affairs
403-275-5890 ext 206