Canada has re-opened its market for imports of beef from the UK for the first time since 1996 as part of a deal covering 19 EU member states.
The agreement applies to both primal cuts and manufacturing beef and has been secured with the help of AHDB Beef & Lamb working with the UK Government. It is anticipated the trade will be led by primal cuts in the early stages before expanding out to manufacturing beef following implementation of the necessary microbiological testing.
The UK already has market access to export sheep meat to Canada. In 2014 Canada imported 162,653 tonnes of fresh and frozen beef, with more than half of shipments coming from the US, followed by Australia. Together, the US and Australia accounted for 78 per cent of these shipments at 127,448 tonnes.
Dr Phil Hadley, AHDB Beef & Lamb head of global supply chain management, said: “Canada has agreed that the meat inspection system used in the 19 member states included in the deal is equivalent to the system it uses, therefore paving the way for us to export.
“It is very encouraging and, while it will initially it will apply to primals, we are hopeful the microbiological protocols will follow shortly thus allowing export of manufacturing beef.
“This represents another step forwards in terms of securing access to more markets for home-produced beef by AHDB Beef & Lamb working in tandem with Government and industry. It also provides an important boost for our ongoing negotiations with other countries outside the EU to help with our ambitions to secure further market access elsewhere in the future.
“Securing more export markets for our products also plays a key role in managing global market volatility. This agreement is a positive move in the right direction that we hope to build on in as we head into the New Year.”
Environment Secretary, Elizabeth Truss said: “I welcome this move by Canada which recognises the world-class reputation our beef has for its taste and welfare standards. The market in Canada will provide an excellent opportunity to expand upon our thriving beef export market which is already worth £374.9m to the UK economy and gives the Canadian people the opportunity to sample the same quality British beef we enjoy.
“Britain has a world-leading food and farming industry and I want to build on this excellent reputation by continuing to open up new markets to help our farmers and food producers export more.”
The 19 member states included in the agreement are Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK.