Canadian Pork Producers Rejoice: Stronger Ties With China

Canadian and Chinese officials reached an agreement yesterday to allow the export of Canadian fresh chilled pork and beef products, as well as bone-in beef, to China.

These pork exports will begin with a pilot project, according to yesterday’s release from the Canadian Pork Council.

“The chilled pork access on the pilot project, will have, ideally, some improved access of different products going into China that we want to sell in the short-term,” Gary Stordy, director of governmental and corporate affairs, said to today.

“We have the experience and knowledge of how to manage (preparing and shipping) the product from Canada across to foreign markets,” said Stordy.

Indeed, last year, Canada exported 132,094 tonnes of chilled pork to Japan valued at $750 million, according to the release.

China has a growing appetite for Western food, as well as safe and nutritious pork. And Canadian pork producers look forward to filling this Chinese demand and duplicating their success in Japan.

The pilot project builds from ongoing discussions about the possibility of a free trade agreement with China, given America’s threat to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

The new trade agreement could be significant for both Canadian pork producers and the Canadian economy.

“It’s an opportunity that makes sense for Canadian business,” Trudeau said in an article on yesterday.

“Canada is and always has been a trading nation. But the landscape of trade is shifting, and we need to adjust to it.”

However, Trudeau treads carefully and slowly in the discussions with Chinese government officials as polls show Canadians are not completely sold on the idea of a trade agreement. Indeed, Canada needs to explore other market and trade options if the U.S. drops NAFTA, according to the article.

Although formal trade negotiations have not begun, a free trade agreement with China would offer Canada another export market in the future.

“It’s a potentially improved market. (But) it won’t be completed tomorrow. It is most-likely a long-term discussion,” Stordy said.

By Kate Ayers
Staff Reporter


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