OTTAWA, ONTARIO – Starting Jan. 2, Canadian livestock producers stand to benefit from new export opportunities in the Americas. Nicaragua has approved imports of beef and pork from Canada, announced Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway Ed Fast.

Effective immediately, Canadian producers can export beef to Nicaragua, with full access now restored after the closure of this market in 2003 due to bovine spongiform encephalopathy. And for the first time, market access conditions have been established for Canadian pork. Nicaragua imports of beef and pork in 2011 totaled $1.6 million and more than $17 million.

"We applaud the government of Nicaragua's science-based decision to reopen its market to Canadian beef and pork," Fast said.