A new trade agreement means that Canadian beef exporters will have immediate access to the Nicaraguan market, which has been closed since a BSE outbreak in Canada in 2003. Market access has also been established for Canadian pork for the first time.
The Canadian government said Nicaragua had the potential to become a "significant market" for Canadian meat products, pointing out that the country’s beef and pork imports totalled $1.6m and $17m respectively in 2011.
Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway Ed Fast said: "We applaud the Government of Nicaragua’s science-based decision to reopen its market to Canadian beef and pork. Opening new markets and creating new opportunities that benefit Canadian businesses and workers are at the core of our government’s broad and ambitious pro-trade plan."
Agriculture and Agri-food Canada said that the trade agreement was part of Canada’s work to improve market access in the increasingly lucrative Central American region. Last year, Peru agreed to open its markets to Canadian cattle and beef under 30 months of age in a deal worth an estimated $2m a year to Canadian producers.
Canada has also been pushing hard to re-open, maintain and expand markets for meat and livestock products in other global markets. Last year, the country achieved improved access for beef and cattle in markets including Kazakhstan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, the Philippines, Russia, South Korea and China.