Effort to promote, expand reach of Canadian beef in China appreciated

Calgary, AB – The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) applauds the efforts of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Minister Gerry Ritz and Canada Beef Inc. to promote Canadian beef in China. China holds huge potential for Canada’s beef cattle producers, making efforts to reinforce and expand the reach of the high-quality Canadian beef brand among the growing Chinese middle class more important than ever.

While in China this week on a trade mission, Minister Ritz helped promote Canadian beef at a special Canada Beef Inc. branding event in Guangzhou. The event, which also saw participation from Canada Beef Inc. Chair Jack Hextall, was the Minister’s latest effort to help Canada Beef Inc. expand its footprint in China, Canada’s second largest trading partner.

In a trade mission to China earlier this year, Minister Ritz also promoted Canadian beef, assisted by CCA President Dave Solverson and Executive Vice President Dennis Laycraft. It was during this June trade mission that Minister Ritz announced progress on market access expansion plans to include bone-in beef from under-thirty-month (UTM) animals and live cattle.

Solverson said Chinese demand for beef has grown well beyond what they are able to produce domestically. Some forecasts indicate China could double its global imports of beef per year before the end of the decade, he added. “Having participated in similar promotional events in China, I can tell you that Canadian beef is viewed very favourably and it’s important to seize the opportunity to build on that momentum,” Solverson said.

Canadian beef exports to China have grown rapidly since 2012. In 2013, Canadian beef exports to mainland China reached 6,000 tonnes valued at $25 million, up from 1,500 tonnes valued at $5.4 million in 2012. Exports to Mainland China from January to September 2014 are up 60 per cent in volume to 5,850 tonnes (2.5% of total exports) and just under the annual volume for 2013 of 6,000 tonnes.

With growth in Chinese beef consumption expected to be supplied by imports over the next three to five years, the CCA will continue working to get the technical conditions in place and define the timelines on the expansion to full access. Under the staged approach to full market access with China announced in 2010, China gave Canada initial access for boneless UTM beef. The CCA and the Government of Canada have worked since then towards restoring full beef access.

For further information, contact:
Gina Teel
Communications Manager
Canadian Cattlemen’s Association
403-275-8558 x 306 | teelg@cattle.ca