China-Canada meat deal includes pilot project

The federal agriculture department revealed more details Dec. 7 about greater access for Canadian beef and pork in the Chinese market.

Following a trade mission by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that concluded yesterday, there is an agreement to launch a pilot project on the export of chilled and fresh beef and pork from “Canadian establishments approved to participate,” said a government news release.

No further details about the terms of the pilot were provided.

China has also approved the import of frozen bone-in beef, “in accordance with the 2016 agreement to work towards expanded market access to China for Canada’s beef products.”

Expanded access for chilled and frozen meat could increase the value of exports to $100 million for pork and $125 million for beef over the next five years, the government said, noting Canada and China will continue discussions toward a comprehensive trade agreement.

“A stronger Canada-China trade relationship will unlock the untapped potential in our two countries’ agricultural ties, helping to expand the growth of the sector and create well-paying jobs for Canadians,” federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay said in a news release.

Federal International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said the expanded export of pork and beef is great news for Canadian farmers and exporters.

Canada was China’s fourth largest supplier of agri-food and seafood products in 2016 and exported more than $6 billion worth of such goods last year.

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