OTTAWA, Ontario – Four additional Canadian beef facilities were approved to export beef to China. The four facilities will expand Canadian beef exports to the Chinese market, which has an estimated value of approximately C$20 million.

The newly approved companies are Les Viandes Laroche Inc., Asbestos, Quebec; Ryding Regency Meat Packers Ltd., Toronto, Ontario; St. Helen's Meat Packers Limited, Toronto; and Canadian Premium Meats Inc., Lacombe, Alberta.

China and Canada reached an agreement in June 2011. The deal allows imports of Canadian deboned beef from animals under 30 months of age (UTM), making Canada the first BSE-affected country to resume trade of beef with China.

“This important step sets the stage to further trade opportunities in China for our beef producers,” said Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. “Our government's top priority remains the economy, and by expanding markets in dynamic countries like China, we are helping Canadian producers increase their bottom line, which leads to more jobs, prosperity, and economic growth.”

The Chinese market for Canadian UTM deboned beef is estimated at approximately C$20 million annually, according to Canada Beef Inc. Once full market access is achieved the Chinese market for Canadian beef and cattle is expected to be worth C$110 million. China is Canada's third-largest trading partner, with a two-way trade of more than C$64.5 billion dollars in 2011, including C$3.4 billion in agriculture and agri-food products.