The beef trade between Canada and Mexico has been resumed following the removal of the import ban imposed on Canada after an outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in 2003. Since the ban, restrictions on beef have been gradually eased by the Mexican government and the final barriers were lifted this week. Canadian beef exporters can now ship beef derived from cows over 30 months old to Mexico.
Canada’s meat industry welcomed the news and Canadian Meat Council (CMC) believe the increased market access will add CAD$10m ($7.7m) annually to the beef sector.
“The full normalisation of trade in beef products with Mexico has been a high priority for the Canadian beef industry,” said Joe Reda, president of the CMC.
“On behalf of beef packers and processors across Canada, I wish to thank prime minister Trudeau as well as ministers [Lawrence] MacAulay and [Chrystia] Freeland and government officials for their persistence in bringing these discussions to a successful conclusion.”
It is believed that 1 October 2016 will be the date at which Canadian exporters can export all types of beef to Mexico. It is a hugely important market for Canada as Mexican companies are apparently willing to pay more than other nations for certain beef products, the CMC claimed.
High level trade
Rob Meijer, president of Canada Beef, said the sector was ready to provide a wider range of beef products across foodservice, retail, casual dining and other areas.
“Canada Beef is already well-positioned and aligned with brand partners to take advantage of the newly expanded market access,” said Meijer. “We want to thank the Mexican government as well for this decision as it sends a clear signal that Canada and Mexico are partners in trade at the highest levels.”
Last year, Canada shipped 19,400 tonnes of beef to Mexico worth around CAD$155m ($119.7m), according to Canada Beef.
Canada’s meat industry is the largest food processing sector in the country, according to the CMC. Exports amount to CAD$5.7bn ($4.4bn) and the industry is responsible for 65,000 jobs.