Canada's red meat and livestock industry at a glance…
Canada’s red meat industry includes beef and veal, pork, lamb and mutton, goat, rabbit, horse, as well as venison and bison. The red meat industry had annual shipments worth $19.4 billion in 2015.
Canada’s meat processing companies manufacture a wide variety of meat products ranging from fresh and frozen meat to processed, smoked, canned and cooked meats, as well as sausage and deli meats. About 70% of processed meats in Canada, such as sausages or cold cuts, are made with pork.
The wholesomeness and consistent safety of Canadian red meat is well established both in Canada and internationally. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) works with the industry to maintain and enhance this reputation. The CFIA inspects imported products and federally registered establishments that produce processed meats and ready-to-eat products to verify compliance with food safety regulations.
Size of the industry:
By 2015, there were:
- 11.92 million cattle and calves, down 2.5% from the previous year, on approximately 82,240 Canadian farms and ranches. Alberta accounts for approximately 41% of this inventory. Farm cash receipts from the sale of cattle and calves in 2014 totalled $9.8 billion, 17% of total farm receipts.
- 13.17 million hogs, up 1.7% from the previous year, on approximately 6,990 farms. Farm cash receipts from the sale of slaughter hogs in 2014 totalled $5.1 billion, 8.8% of total farm receipts.
- 844,300 sheep and lambs, down 3.5% from the previous year, on approximately 10,111 farms. Canadian sheep production is mostly located in Ontario, Quebec and Alberta (72%). Farm cash receipts for sheep and lambs in 2014 totalled $159.4 million, 0.3% of total farm receipts.
- 225,461 goats on about 5,949 farms in Canada were reported in the 2011 Census of Agriculture, a growth of 27% within the last 5 years. In Canada, the goat industry can be segmented into three distinct sectors: chevon (meat), dairy (milk) and fibre (mohair and cashmere).
- 125,142 bison on about 1,211 farms in Canada according to the 2011 Census of Agriculture. Bison production is primarily concentrated in the west, with 77% of the herd concentrated in Saskatchewan and Alberta. Exports of bison meat are primarily to the US, but boneless product is also shipped to numerous countries in Europe, most notably France, Switzerland and Germany.
- 52,051 head of Canadian farm raised cervids (deer and elk) on about 952 farms were reported in the 2011 Census of Agriculture, a decrease of 55% within the last 5 years. Elk are primarily farmed in western Canada and red deer in the eastern provinces. Fallow deer, white-tailed deer and other cervid species are found throughout Canada.
- Canada’s beef and veal exports increased by 1.5% from 2014 to 322,343 tonnes in 2015, valued at $2.23 billion. Exports to the United States were up by 3.71% in 2015. Exports to Asia were mixed; China showed strong increases rising 381% from 2014, while exports to Hong Kong and Japan decreased 59% and 24% respectively. Exports to Mexico continued to decrease, accounting for a decline of 17% in comparison with 2014 and 53% since 2010. The United States is the major export market for Canadian beef, accounting for approximately 71% of exports.
- In 2015, approximately 830 000 head of cattle were exported to the United States for breeding, feeding and processing with feeder cattle exports making up a larger proportion of the trade. In 2015, feeder cattle exports to the US represented 41% of the live trade, consistent with 2014 (40%).
- In 2015, 21.2 million pigs went to market in Canadian plants, an increase of 4.2% over 2014. In addition, 1.06 million head went to processing facilities in the United States and 4.6 million head of isowean/weaner/feeder hogs went for feeding and finishing on United States farms. Live hog exports to all countries increased by 16.4% over 2014 to 5.8 million head.
- Pork exports increased in 2015 to 1,172,230 tonnes up by 1.9% from 2014. Sales to the United States increased 12.5% to 443,738 tonnes, while sales to Japan increased 9.1% to 217,987 tonnes and sales to China slightly increased by 0.6% to 127,749 tonnes. Exports of pork and pork products to all countries were estimated at $3.4 billion in 2015.
- Processed pork sales totaled an estimated 69,972 tonnes in 2015 with the United States being the dominant purchaser (46%).
In addition to its red meat exports, Canada can provide halal-certified, kosher and organic meat and meat products.
...want more information?
For more detailed information, contact:
Red Meat Section - Animal Industry Division
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
1341 Baseline Road, Tower 5, 4th floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0C5
Web site: http://www.agr.gc.ca/redmeat-vianderouge/index_eng.htm
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