Taiwan accepting Canadian beef

Canada has regained its beef market in Taiwan after being shut out since February 2015 when a case of BSE was discovered in an Alberta cow.

Taiwan was a major customer for Canadian beef before the suspension of trade, buying about $12 million worth of product a year.

Taiwan will accept boneless and bone-in beef cuts from cattle younger than 30 months. The deal does not include beef trim of organ meats, said John Masswohl of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association.

“It is what we had prior to them closing,” he said.

The agreement went into effect July 8, and export documentation is ready to go, Masswohl said.

Canada has been out of the Taiwanese market for more than a year, which means importers need to gear up and rebuild relationships.

Taiwan imports nearly all its beef requirements, and Canada hopes it can eventually build up its market to about $15 million a year.

Canada recently regained access to Mexico, which goes into effect in October.

Masswohl said work is also continuing to regain full access to China.

The country agreed to a staged reopening in 2010 and now accepts boneless beef. The next step is to get bone-in product to the mainland.

“We feel that they should be ready to move to the next stage,” he said.

Annual sales of $23.6 billion and exports of $5.7 billion makes the Canadian meat industry the largest component of this country’s food processing sector.

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