090113 Canada Increases Export Opportunities for Livestock

January 9, 2009

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada -- The Government of Canada is expanding export opportunities for livestock producers by acting on the advice of the Beef-Cattle and Pork Value Chain Roundtables. The Government is implementing two key recommendations: to create a market-access secretariat, and to pursue commercially-significant access to beef markets as a first step to achieve full access as recommended by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

"Canadian producers want to make their living in the marketplace and this Government is working with them to tap new opportunities on the world stage," said Minister Ritz. "The roundtables have provided excellent advice which will form the foundation of our continued work to open new markets and to level the playing field for our exports."

Minister Ritz announced the creation of an Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada market access secretariat to better co-ordinate government initiatives with producers and industry to aggressively and strategically go after new markets and keep pace with international competitors. The secretariat will include a range of trade experts to promote Canadian agricultural exports around the world.

The secretariat will work toward gaining expanded access beyond the U.S. for agricultural and agri-food products in promising markets such as Mexico, China, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Russia and Saudi Arabia.

The Government is also implementing livestock industry recommendations to pursue commercially-significant access to international beef markets as the first step in a staged process toward full OIE access.

"We agree with producers that Canada needs to get a foot in the door in many international markets while we remain committed to our goal to securing full OIE access for Canadian beef products around the world," said Minister Ritz.


Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) established the Value Chain Roundtables (VCRTs) as a way for Government to work in partnership with producers and industry to help farmers and producers meet the competitive challenges of the global marketplace.

VCRTs represent individual sub-sectors of the food and agriculture industry, and were established to help improve Canada's overall competitive position. Industry leads the roundtable process and sets the agenda. AAFC facilitates the process and helps the roundtables deliver on their market development and market access strategies.

The roundtables bring together players from across Canada and from all points in the value chain: producers, processors, retailers and others. They are driven by research such as benchmarking their industries against other players in the increasingly competitive international scene. There are eight value chain roundtables: beef, special crops, seafood, pork, organic, oilseeds, horticulture, and cereal grains.