Canada cattle business improves with exports to South KoreaCALGARY - South Korea said Monday it will resume imports of Canadian beef, following a breakthrough in lengthy talks between the country and Canada.
Exports of meat from cows under 30 months of age could be worth more than $30 million to Canadian cattle producers by 2015, the Canada Beef Export Federation said.
South Korea was Canada’s fourth largest beef market when it closed its borders in 2003, following the discovery of BSE in some Canadian animals, and is the last key Asian market to re-open to Canadian beef.
“After almost a decade, Canadian beef producers are on track to gain access to the lucrative South Korean market, making our industry and entire economy stronger,” Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said in a statement. “The high quality of our beef products combined with the effectiveness and transparency of Canada’s control system is precisely the reason why South Korea can be confident in the safety of Canada’s beef.”
The federal government said the two countries have resolved technical issues and will work to finalize the agreement.
South Korea’s agriculture ministry said the government will submit a motion to the South Korean parliament to review the bilateral deal before announcing details of the import safety criteria.
“The Canadian government told us that all the procedures would be completed by December 31 of this year to resume beef imports. And, our government said, that we would do our best to resume the imports within the period,” the ministry statement said.
South Korea will put the import health requirements to public consultations, the Canadian government said.Canada will also request a suspension of the World Trade Organization proceedings it began against Korea in 2009.
China also agreed to resume imports of Canadian beef last year, but hasn’t started accepting shipments yet.
with files from Reuters
The Calgary Herald