New Market Access to Peru for Canadian Cattle Industry

Ottawa, Ontario, February 21, 2012 - Canadian cattle ranchers and dairy farmers will now benefit from immediate access to the growing Peruvian market, after the Andean nation re-opened its doors to Canadian cattle imports, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced today.

Peru is a strong agricultural partner with Canada, not just in cattle imports but also in grains and pulses. Since 2009, Canadian and Peruvian farmers have benefitted from a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Agri-food exports to Peru increased 42 per cent in the first full year after the implementation of the FTA compared to 2008. Total Canadian agricultural exports to Peru in 2011 were more than $247 million.

Canada Beef and the CLGA estimate the market to be valued at more than $2.5 million in 2012 for the Canadian cattle sector. Canadian exporters are eligible to export to Peru all cattle born after August 1, 2007, with the bulk of expected sales being dairy genetics. Today's announcement is an important step that sets the stage for greater market access for Canada's cattle producers, as well as for beef producers, as efforts continue to restore full beef access to Peru.

One of the few Latin American countries to have sustained a positive economic growth rate following the 2008 recession, Peru is projected to reach approximately 6 per cent growth in 2012. It becomes the seventh market in Latin America and the Caribbean to re-open to Canadian cattle, following Colombia, Mexico, Panama, Barbados, Bermuda, and Trinidad and Tobago. Exports of cattle to Peru can resume immediately.

For more information, media may contact:

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

Meagan Murdoch
Director of Communications
The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
613-773-1059

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