OTTAWA, Ontario –Thanks to successfully completing extensive negotiations between Canada and the European Union (EU), Canadian beef producers will now have duty-free access to the European Union market that is estimated to be worth more than $10 million (US$9.74 million) annually for Canada. Canada’s Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Minister of International Trade Peter Van Loan made the announcement.

"Industry and government have been working very hard to get increased access to the EU market," iterates Mr. Ritz. "The access to this quota was a priority for our industry and therefore it was a priority for this Government. This is a tremendous deal that will help Canadian producers make their living from the market place."

The arrangement will provide duty-free access to a 20,000-tonne quota for beef exports to the European market and the Canadian Beef Export Federation estimates this new duty-free access could be worth more than $10 million a year for Canada.

The Government of Canada has also just finalized a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the European Commission, which sets the path towards resolving the long-standing WTO dispute between Canada and the EU on beef hormones. This understanding will ultimately add 3,200 tonnes of beef to the current 20,000-tonne quota and provides compensation for the EU's ban on beef from animals administered growth hormones.

Under terms of the MOU, Canadian access to this most-favored nation quota is for beef from animals not administered growth hormones that comply with the relevant EU import requirements. Beef from animals treated with growth hormones is approved for use in Canada.