Canada Pork International

Canada Pork International

January 22, 2010 10:15 ET

AAFC Ministerial Visit to Colombia, Mexico and Guatemala January 2010

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 22, 2010) - Canada Pork International (CPI) would like to express its appreciation for the federal government's support on the recent trade mission to Latin America. The Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, pro active efforts to develop and improve current trade relations with his counterparts in Colombia, Mexico and Guatemala will help the Canadian pork export industry continue to diversify into expanding markets.

"The continuous efforts from the federal government will increase market opportunities for Canadian pork exports. It is hoped that continued involvement in export development activities will translate into free trade agreements with other countries, similar to the one with Colombia and with Panama", says Edouard Asnong, President of Canada Pork International.

For many years, one of CPI's objectives has been to develop markets abroad and break away from commercial dependency on the US market. Nowadays, with current trade fluctuations, it is hazardous to rely on just a handful of export markets, especially when nearly 50% of Canadian pork production is destined for export markets.

The Minister and federal officials witnessed firsthand the potential for Canadian Pork in Colombia and why the ratification of the FTA by the Canadian Parliament is important for the Canadian Pork Industry. The Colombian veterinary authority's recent decision to permit all CFIA eligible meat plants to export to Colombia without needing to apply individually will result in a broader spectrum of Canadian Pork exporters. However, CPI hopes that the FTA can be adopted as early as possible to help eliminate the uncertainty that currently exists surrounding pork exports to this market as well as gain an advantageous position over its competitors.

Mexico continues to be the largest Latin American market for Canadian pork exports. During the last three years the market has evolved from an entirely commodity trade to value-added purchasing. Over the past few months, the International Pork Marketing Fund announced by Minister Ritz last fall to bolster market development in critical markets and fund activities to capture greater value from export markets has put into action a generic promotion of Canadian highly processed pork products in several supermarket chains, helping to position Canadian pork products as first in the mind of Mexican consumers. This type of Canadian pork promotion is the first of its kind to take place in any of the 100 plus markets that import Canadian pork.

The Guatemala portion of this recent mission to Latin America was highly important and valued by the pork industry. Minister Ritz's presence signified how important better access to the Guatemalan market is to Canada, especially since the majority of Guatemala's pork imports come from the U.S., Canada's main export competitor for pork worldwide. Prior to the ratification of the FTA between the US and the Guatemala in 2006, Canada had a fairly large share of the Guatemalan pork market. However, high tariff rates in this already sensitive price market have pushed away all opportunities for our exports.

Contact Information

  • Canada Pork International
    Jacques Pomerleau
    Executive Director
    613-236-9886 ext 240