Canadian official in China to advance beef access deal

by Bryan Salvage
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SHANGHAI, CHINA – Gerry Ritz, Canada’s Agriculture Minister, has just completed his third successful trade mission to China in less than a year. China agreed during his last trip to take the vital regulatory step to formally lift the ban on Canadian boneless beef under 30 months (U.T.M.) and tallow for industrial use, effective July 3.

Taken just over a week after the initial agreement for full staged Chinese market access for Canadian beef, this move is a clear indication of the strong trade partnership between Canada and China. According to Mr. Ritz.

"There's a world of opportunity for our producers in China, and that future is built on a history of strong trade partnership," he added. "This is a vital step forward in the breakthrough agreement that will see Canada's safe, high-quality beef back on Chinese store shelves and more black back on the bottom line for producers."

Mr. Ritz began his mission by serving the first plates of Canadian beef available in China in almost a decade at the Shanghai World Expo 2010 with Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada, in celebration of Canada Day.

Mr. Ritz hosted a second barbecue, in Beijing to celebrate 50 years of agricultural cooperation with China. He presented a plaque to the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture to commemorate 50 years of agricultural cooperation that started with the first wheat shipments to China, which saved thousands of people facing famine due to drought and marked the beginning of the strong agricultural relationship that exists today between the two countries, he said.

China is the world's leading producer and consumer of agriculture products. With a growing population of 1.3 billion, China represents tremendous market potential for agriculture and food products. China is Canada's third-largest trading partner after the United States and European Union, with two-way trade of over $50 billion dollars, including $3.1 billion in agriculture and food.

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