OTTAWA, ONTARIO — China’s recent agreement to allow Canadian pork imports back into its country was possible due, in part, to the Canadian pork industry's Canadian Quality Assurance (C.Q.A.) program.

Several countries, including China, imposed a ban on importing pork earlier this year due to concerns over H1N1. Canada's annual pork and live swine exports to China are estimated at upwards of $50 million.

The Canadian Pork Council C.Q.A. program was pivotal in resuming pork trade with China, according to the C.P.C. "The C.Q.A. program provides a competitive edge in developing and maintaining markets at home, across the continent and around the world," said Jurgen Preugschas, C.P.C. chair. "Opening up markets is critical for the Canadian hog industry's recovery and the C.P.C. supports the Canadian government's efforts to open and expand markets for Canadian producers."

The C.Q.A. program is an on-farm, food-safety program launched by the Canadian Pork Council in 1998. C.Q.A. helps pork producers create flexible, effective and verifiable food-safety procedures tailored to their farm's needs. It is based on the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point concept.

Canada is the world's third-largest pork exporter and represents 20% of world pork trade. Last year, Canadian pork was exported to more than 100 countries. The C.P.C. continues to be a strong supporter of Canada entering into comprehensive free trade agreement with the European Union and finalizing bilateral free-trade agreements with Colombia and Korea.