ARCHIVED - Government of Canada Announces Resumption of Beef Exports to Costa Rica

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Ottawa, Ontario, February 7, 2011 - Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Minister of International Trade Peter Van Loan announced today that Costa Rica has reopened its market to allow for full, unrestricted access to Canadian beef and beef product exports. To highlight this success, Canada's top quality beef will be served at the Canadian Ambassador's Official Residence in San José, marking the first time in almost a decade that Canadian beef will be shipped to Costa Rica.

Today's announcement represents the resumption of full market access for Canadian beef and beef products and is the result of a concentrated effort by governments to enhance trade between the two countries. Costa Rica closed its beef market to Canada following the discovery of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in 2003.

Resumed access to Canadian beef in Costa Rica will be celebrated on March 10th, 2011. Canada's Ambassador to Costa Rica, Cameron MacKay, joined by renowned Chef Edwardo Alvarez, will host an event to showcase Canadian beef at the Official Residence in San José. International buyers, Costa Rican government officials and media representatives will be among those in attendance at the Canadian-style barbecue.

In addition to Canadian beef, the event will also highlight other Canadian world-class agricultural products such as pork, canola, lentils, beans, chickpeas and mustard.

As of November 2010, bilateral trade of agricultural products with Costa Rica was valued at $244 million. In recognition of the benefits of free trade to their economic and trade relationship, Canada and Costa Rica are currently in discussions to expand their bilateral Free Trade Agreement, signed in 2002.

For more information, please contact:

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
613-773-7972
1-866-345-7972

Meagan Murdoch
Press Secretary
The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
613-773-1059

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