New campaign urges the federal Government to defend Canada’s science-based standards in international meat industry
September 12, 2023
Ottawa, ON – Today, the Canadian Cattle Association, Canadian Meat Council, and National Cattle Feeders’ Association are publicly launching our campaign “Say No to A Bad Deal” to stand up for science-based trade standards.
In July, the Government of Canada announced the accession of the United Kingdom (UK) to the Comprehensive Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The campaign seeks to implore the Federal Government to delay approving the UK’s acceptance to the CPTPP until a fair deal is negotiated between Canada and the UK.
Canadian meat is currently severely disadvantaged in the interim agreement with the UK as technical, non-tariff trade barriers have resulted in Canada being unable to access the UK market, while the UK enjoys unfettered access into the Canadian market. The proposed agreement will see the UK exporting over $50 million of their meat producers into the Canadian market, while Canada will be unable to export any meat products into their market.
The main obstacle is the UK’s full acceptance of Canada’s food safety system, which is widely recognized as a leading set of standards in the world. The Government of Canada has supported the UK’s bid to join CPTPP without first achieving viable access for Canadian beef and pork to the UK.
The CPTPP has been an excellent agreement thus far with the initial participants implementing a high standard for trade liberalization and science-based rules. The Canadian beef and pork industry believes that an agreement with the UK that leaves a significant barrier in place and politicizes food safety decisions, and in doing so does not meet the standard of the CPTPP. Therefore, the UK’s bid to become a member should be delayed until they can do better to meet the progressive trade principles of the CPTPP.
Addressing these barriers and adhering to internationally accepted science-based requirements through the current negotiations of the UK-Canada bilateral trade agreement will create a win-win situation for both industries and consumers across both markets. Failure to address these unfair barriers set a terrible precedent for trade policy and will hurt Canadian farmers, ranchers, processors, and rural communities across Canada.
We want fair trade that includes the UK accepting Canada’s full food safety system so that the beef and pork sectors can have viable access to the UK market. Failing that, we are asking Parliament to ensure producers and processors are fairly compensated for the damages and losses that will result.
The meat sector relies on trade and has historically always been a proponent of Canada’s trade agreements. However, we need to stand up for a fair deal for our farmers and the entire meat industry that is currently being given a bad deal. The Canadian beef and pork industry is asking producers, packers, and supporters of the sector to stand with us by joining this campaign “SayNoToABadDeal.ca” and voicing their concerns with their Member of Parliament.
“Beef farmers and ranchers produce the highest quality beef, with superior food safety standards and we will not lower our standards for any trade deal. The CPTPP sets a high standard for progressive trade and the deal proposed with the UK would set a dangerous precedent for future countries looking to join.”
-Nathan Phinney, President of the Canadian Cattle Association
“The world-class standards of Canada’s red meat sector have set benchmarks across the industry. Not only will this deal hurt the pockets of Canadian meat processors, and farmers, it additionally puts consumers at risk by deprioritizing scientific-based controls and lowering the bar for international regulations.”
-Chris White, President and CEO of the Canadian Meat Council
“Trade is essential to the long-term sustainability of the beef sector and Canada needs and deserves fair and reciprocal access to the UK.”
-Will Lowe, Chair of the National Cattle Feeders’ Association
For more information, please contact:
Canadian Cattle Association
E: [email protected]
T: (403) 451-0931
Canadian Meat Council
E: [email protected]
T: (613) 818-7776
National Cattle Feeders’ Association
E: [email protected]
T: (403-250-2509 ext. 204
For a PDF of the statement, click here.