The Canadian Pork Council (CPC) welcomes the Government of Canada’s efforts to expand international agriculture markets during this time of economic uncertainty, and strongly urges the government to engage in negotiations of an ambitious trade and economic agreement with the European Union.
Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, has pursued trade opportunities in India, Korea, and has recently returned from Colombia and Peru to advance the quick implementation of important free trade agreements.
CPC strongly believes that the Canadian government must seek out new trade opportunities abroad during this time of economic uncertainty. Bilateral trade agreements such as the ones being pursued with Colombia and Peru will help diversify the export market abilities and reduce dependence on the United States for exports.
Potential pork growth
Colombia for example, accounts for $3 million of sales or more than 3,570 tonnes of pork in 2008. With the creation of a 5,000 tonne tariff-rate quota and the elimination of the inquota tariff over five years, there is important potential for growth in Canadian pork exports to Colombia.
“Minister Ritz has shown great enthusiasm for opening and expanding existing export markets for agricultural products and we hope he shows as much support for opening a free trade agreement with the EU,” stated Jurgen Preugschas, Chair of the Canadian Pork Council.
With a population of about 500 million, the majority of which views pork as their favoured meat, the Canadian industry is making important investments to respond to increasing demand in the EU countries for Canadian pork. “The Canada-EU relationship holds great potential for the pork industry. We will oppose any exemptions if, as a result, our access to the EU for pork is in any way diminished” added Preugschas.
The Canadian Pork Council is also an avid supporter of current negotiations to liberalise trade with Korea and the Central American Four (El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua) countries. The CPC also encourages trade negotiations with Japan, India and the Dominican Republic.
• Canadian Pork Council