The Canadian Pork Council welcomes the provisional application of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) as a first step towards a commercially viable two-way trade of meat products between Canada and the European Union (EU).
Europe is a very important pork-consuming region for which Canada has had little effective market access. The 500+ million inhabitants of the twenty-eight EU member states consume over 20 million tons of pork a year-almost 30 times Canadian consumption. In 2016, Canada exported 1,204 tons of pork into Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, France and other European countries. This compares to total Canadian pork exports in that year of over 1.1 million tons.
Today's provisional application of CETA secures access for Canadian processed pork products and a tariff-free quota volume equivalent to 80 thousand tons of pork cuts, a potential estimated value of $400 million for the pork industry.
Recognizing the potential benefit of CETA, the pork industry has been asking the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to clarify the EU's technical requirement regarding the health mark label applied to all boxes of meat exported to the EU.
According to John Ross, executive director of the Canadian Pork Council, "the speedy resolution of the issues surrounding the application of the EU health mark label will allow the pork industry to benefit from CETA." The CFIA currently requires the application of the label to the boxes before the product technically is eligible for export to the EU. "This inconsistency impeding trade with the EU should easily and immediately be solved by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency," adds Ross.
The Canadian Pork Council has been advocating for this agreement on behalf of pork farmers since 2009 and is looking forward to working with regulatory authorities to remove trade barriers currently in place.
Canada's pork industry is made up of 7,300 hog farms with cash receipts of $4 billion. Hog producers account for 8% of total farm cash receipts and are the fifth-largest source of farm income in Canada.