Canada’s Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said the deal was part of a concerted effort by Canadian authorities to regain full market access for beef and cattle to the wealthy Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region, which includes Oman, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Qatar. Canada secured access for cattle to Qatar and the United Arab Emirates earlier this year.
“This is another significant step for Canadian producers interested in exporting to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region, an important market for Canada’s high-quality beef and cattle,” said Minister Ritz.
The announcement has been welcomed by Canada’s livestock industry. Rick McRonald, executive director of the Canadian Livestock Genetics Association, said: “This particular negotiation started with a specific request for cattle in April, so resolution of the access issue was relatively fast.
"Now that we have access, our members can follow up on that request with more detail and also determine what the full market potential might be. Our thanks to all who worked together to achieve cattle access to Oman.”
Canada’s federal agricultural department held a food promotion event in Lima, Peru earlier this week. The event, attended by international importers, consumers and journalists, coincided with the first shipments of Canadian beef to Peru since market access was restored earlier this year. Peruvian celebrity chef Christian Bravo prepared a number of dishes using Canadian ingredients, including beef, canola, lentils and maple syrup.
“The Harper Government knows Peru is an important market for our agricultural industry, which is why we were pleased to announce restored access for Canadian beef and live cattle to Peru earlier this year,” said Ritz.
“Through international food promotion events such as this, we continue to raise awareness of our high-quality products, including beef, increasing demand and supporting long-term growth in Canadian agriculture.”
The Peruvian market is worth an estimated $2m annually to Canada’s beef exporters. The country entered into a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Canada in 2009 and imported more than $247m of Canadian agricultural imports in 2011.