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 $21.1 billion in 2018.
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 2018, there were:
- 11.58 million cattle and calves, up 0.3% from the previous year, on approximately 73,600 Canadian farms and ranches. Alberta accounts for approximately 41% of this inventory. Farm cash receipts from the sale of cattle and calves in 2018 totalled $9.1 billion, 14.6% of total farm receipts.
- 14.17 million hogs, up 1.7% from the previous year, on approximately 8,170 farms. Farm cash receipts from the sale of slaughter hogs in 2018 totalled $4.1 billion, 6.6% of total farm receipts.
- 825,400 sheep and lambs, up 1.4% from the previous year, on approximately 9,390 farms (2016 data). Canadian sheep production is primarily located in Ontario, Quebec and Alberta (70%). Farm cash receipts for sheep and lambs in 2018 totalled $185.8 million, 0.3% of total farm receipts.
- 230,034 goats on 5,627 farms in Canada were reported in the 2016 Census of Agriculture, a growth of 2% 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).
- 119,314 bison on 975 farms in Canada according to the 2016 Census of Agriculture. Bison production is primarily concentrated in the west, with 80% of the herd concentrated in Saskatchewan and Alberta. The majority of bison meat exports are shipped to the US (51% in 2018), but boneless product is also shipped to numerous countries in Europe, most notably United Kingdom, France, and Switzerland.
- 37,343 head of Canadian farm raised cervids (deer and elk) on 600 farms were reported in the 2016 Census of Agriculture, a decrease of 28% 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 5.2% from 2017 to 398,580 tonnes in 2018, valued at $2.75 billion. Exports to the United States were up by 5.2% in 2018, compared to 2017, while exports to Mexico were decreased by 9.8% during the same time period. Exports to Asia were mixed; beef and veal exports to Japan and China grew 20.2% and 19.4% respectively, while exports to Hong Kong (-5.2%) and South Korea (-6.4%) declined year-over-year. The United States is the major export market for Canadian beef, accounting for approximately 74% of exports.
- In 2018, 630,769 head of cattle were exported to the United States for breeding, feeding and processing, with fed animals (steers and heifers) exported for slaughter representing the largest share of exports (37.9%). In 2018, feeder cattle exports to the US represented 31.4% of the live trade, increasing 45.8% from 2017, to 197,872 head.
- In 2018, 21.4 million pigs went to market in Canadian plants, a decrease of 0.9% from 2017. In addition, 695,080 head went to processing facilities in the United States and 4.5 million isowean/weaner/feeder hogs went for feeding and finishing on United States farms. Live hog exports to all countries decreased by 6.2% from 2017 to 5.3 million head.
- Pork exports increased in 2018 to 1,261,891 tonnes, down by 1.9% from 2017. Sales to the United States decreased 9.0% to 346,834 tonnes, while sales to China declined 7.0% to 283,244 tonnes. Pork exports to Canada's next biggest markets posted increases year-over-year; shipments to Japan and Mexico were up 5.1% and 23.6% respectively. The value of pork and pork product exports to all countries totalled $3.9 billion in 2018; down 4.0% from 2017 ($4.0 billion).
- Processed pork sales totaled 73,380 tonnes in 2018 with the United States being the dominant purchaser (48.3%).
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
If you have any questions or require additional information, please send an e-mail to email@example.com
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