Government of Canada reaches agreement with Japan to expand beef access

Ottawa, Ontario, January 28, 2013 - Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and International Trade Minister Ed Fast today announced the Government of Canada has reached an agreement with Japan to expand market access to Canadian beef from animals under 30 months of age (UTM) – an improvement over the current requirement which only permits beef exports from animals under 21 months of age. This expanded access is expected to double the potential market value of Canadian exports to Japan reaching up to $150 million annually.

Japanese authorities today confirmed the revision of Japan's import regulations for beef. The revised regulations will come into effect February 1, 2013.

"Our Government welcomes this expanded access for Canadian beef into the valuable Japanese market,” said Minister Ritz. "This agreement will put more top quality Canadian beef on Japanese store shelves while strengthening our producers' bottom lines and growing our overall economy.”

"As part of our government's plan to create jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for all Canadians by opening new markets, we have been working closely with Japan to expand access for our exporters,” said Minister Fast. "Today's announcement is proof that these efforts are getting results, and we look forward to taking our trading relationship with Japan to the next level through an Economic Partnership Agreement which would provide additional export opportunities for Canadian businesses.”

"This is an outstanding development that will benefit Canada's beef producers by enabling exports of Canadian beef to Japan on a year-round basis, while meeting Japan's need for a more consistent supply of Canadian beef," said the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association President Martin Unrau.

Japan is Canada's third largest export market for beef. Canadian exports of beef from animals under 21-months of age for the past three years were worth approximately $70 to $75 million per year. The increased access is expected to double the potential market value to $140 to $150 million, according to the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA).

Since the Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) outbreak in 2003, the government and the industry have been working hard to reopen markets and gain full market access for Canadian beef.

For more information, media may contact:

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

Jeff English
Press Secretary
The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
613-773-1059

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-996-2000
Follow us on Twitter: @Canada_Trade

Rudy Husny
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
613-992-7332
rudy.husny@international.gc.ca

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