OTTAWA, ONTARIO — Acting on the advice of the Beef-Cattle and Pork Value Chain Roundtables, the Government of Canada is expanding export opportunities for livestock producers. The government is implementing a market-access secretariat and the government will pursue commercially significant access to beef markets as a first step to achieve full access as recommended by the World Organization for Animal Health.

"Canadian producers want to make their living in the marketplace and this government is working with them to tap new opportunities on the world stage," said Gerry Ritz, Canadian Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board. "The roundtables have provided excellent advice which will form the foundation of our continued work to open new markets and to level the playing field for our exports."

Mr. Ritz announced the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada market access secretariat will coordinate government initiatives with producers and industry to target new markets with and keep pace with international competitors. The secretariat will include a range of trade experts to promote Canadian agricultural exports around the world.

The secretariat will work toward gaining expanded access beyond the U.S. for agricultural and agri-food products in promising markets such as Mexico, China, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Russia and Saudi Arabia.

In addressing implementing livestock industry recommendations to pursue commercially-significant access to international beef markets, Mr. Ritz said, "We agree with producers that Canada needs to get a foot in the door in many international markets while we remain committed to our goal to securing full O.I.E. access for Canadian beef products around the world."

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