SHANGHAI, CHINA – On July 1, Canadian beef will be served at the Shanghai World Expo 2010 to celebrate Canada Day. This marks the first time in almost 10 years Canadian beef has been available in China.

Canada’s Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz will host a beef barbecue in celebration of Canada and China's strong trade relationship. Michaëlle Jean, governor general of Canada, and Canada's Commissioner General for Expo 2010 Mark Rowswell and "Dashan", a famous media personality in China, are expected to attend the event.

"We'd like to thank our Chinese friends for allowing a special shipment of beef for our Canada Day celebrations, as we work to complete our agreement for staged full market access," Ritz said. "Canada is the first B.S.E. [bovine spongiform encephalopathy]-affected country to receive any beef access to China in almost a decade and this landmark agreement will help ensure a bright future for the Canadian beef industry by getting our safe, high quality beef back on Chinese store shelves."

Canada announced on June 24 it had secured a breakthrough agreement with China to allow staged market access for beef and tallow, becoming the first country to resume trade with China following a case of B.S.E. in 2003. China has allowed a special shipment of Canadian beef into both Shanghai and Bejing for Canada Day celebrations, which is a key indication of their strong trade relationship based on principles of sound science,.

"As Canadians gather to celebrate Canada Day with a barbecue back at home, we are extending this tradition to our friends here in China by serving up high-quality Canadian beef and pork grilled to perfection with the help of a delicious canola-based marinade," Mr. Ritz said.

Canada's special access for Canada Day will help promote and boost demand for Canadian beef. Ritz and Canadian Head Chef Wayne Murphy, executive chef at the Canada Pavilion and Chef Professor and coordinator of the Culinary Arts Program at La Cité collégiale, will also highlight Canada's world-class pork and canola products.

"We have great cause for celebration," says Gib Drury, board chair of the Canada Beef Export Federation, who will be serving beef with Mr. Ritz.

"On Canada Day, Canadian beef is being served here in Shanghai at the Canada Pavilion – and also to 90 guests at a Canada Beef Export Federation Demand Building Seminar in Beijing,” Drury said. “The guests are key industry representatives from Beijing's import and distribution sector, retail sector and culinary sector who will help build demand and sales for Canadian beef in this tremendous market,".

Ritz is in China for the third time in less than a year to further strengthen the Canada-China agricultural trade relationship and push for the removal of trade restrictions on Canadian canola, and to commemorate 50 years of agricultural cooperation between the two countries.