OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 12, 2012) - Canadian beef producers will benefit from newly restored market access to Peru, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and International Trade Minister Ed Fast announced today. Effective immediately, the Peruvian market has been reopened for Canadian bone-in beef under 30 months of age, boneless beef of all ages, and offal.
"This restored access shows how our Government is working with industry to give Canada's beef producers the ability to make their money from the marketplace, not the mailbox," said Minister Ritz. "The Harper Government will continue to help farmers and processors find more market opportunities by opening, reopening, and expanding export markets around the world."
This is the first time since 2003 that Canadian beef can be exported to this important market, after it was closed due to BSE. In 2011, total Peruvian imports of beef and beef products from all countries were worth about $49 million. Canada Beef Inc. estimates that this market could be worth up to $2 million annually for Canadian beef producers.
"Today's announcement is great news for Canada's world-class beef exporters and their families," said Minister Fast. "Canada welcomes Peru's decision. Since our free trade agreement with Peru came into force in 2009, our bilateral trade has increased by more than 50 per cent, and today's announcement is clear proof of how deeper trade benefits Canadian workers and businesses."
Minister Fast had been informed of Peru's decision during his April 11 visit to Peru. On May 11, Peru published a resolution to announce the decision, and final details have now been worked out to allow trade to resume effective immediately.
"As an industry ambassador, Canada Beef Inc. pledges a commitment to working with industry and trade export partners to identify and deliver upon the best opportunities for Canadian producers," said Canada Beef Inc. President Robert Meijer. "We will accomplish this through a strategic effort to maximize the value they receive for their products. Diversifying market opportunities and meeting consumer demand for Canadian beef and veal around the world is key to creating an environment where producers can be successful. We look forward to working with our industry to benefit from these opportunities."
Earlier this year, Minister Ritz, along with Minister Fast, announced the reopening of the Peruvian market to Canadian cattle, a market estimated by Canada Beef Inc. and the Canadian Livestock Genetics Association to be worth more than $2.5 million in 2012 for the Canadian cattle sector. Today's announcement builds on that accomplishment and will deepen what is already a strong agricultural partnership between Canada and Peru. Canada continues to work in close partnership with the beef industry and with Peru to restore access for bone-in beef over 30 months of age, which is the only remaining Canadian beef access issue with the Andean nation.
Canada and Peru have enjoyed a mutually beneficial free trade agreement (FTA) since 2009. By immediately eliminating tariffs on Canadian beef offal and on selected Canadian boneless beef cuts, the FTA is providing Canadian beef producers with a competitive advantage in this market.
Agri-food exports to Peru increased 42 per cent in the first full year after the implementation of the FTA compared to 2008, with agri-food exports such as cereals and grains being among Canada's top exports to the country. In 2011, Peru's agricultural imports from Canada totalled more than $247 million.