Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

November 10, 2008 16:45 ET

Canada Continues Pressing to Re-Open Korean Market to Canadian Beef Exporters

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 10, 2008) - The Government of Canada is continuing to work hard to re-open the Korean market to our world-class Canadian beef. Based on science and international standards, the Canadian beef industry has a strong case and we are committed to regaining market access for Canadian exporters.

"The quality and safety of Canadian beef is recognized around the world," said Canada's Agriculture Minister, Gerry Ritz. "We are committed to providing our exporters with every possible opportunity and we are working to resume trade to Korea as soon as possible."

Canadian and Korean veterinary officials held technical negotiations November 3-4, 2008, aimed at moving toward an agreement on the import requirements for Canadian beef. Restoring market access will allow Korean consumers to access safe, high-quality Canadian beef and beef products at competitive prices.

Korean officials will be visiting Canada later this month to conduct on-site visits to Canadian beef slaughter facilities to see first hand the effectiveness of Canada's food safety and animal health safeguards.

Korea banned imports of Canadian beef in May 2003, after bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) was discovered in a Canadian cow. Prior to that point, Korea represented the fourth-largest market for Canadian beef, with $50 million in annual sales.

In May 2007, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) officially categorized Canada as a Controlled Risk country for BSE, meaning the standards implemented in Canada meet the requirements for safe trade in a broad range of commodities.

Contact Information

  • Canadian Food Inspection Agency
    Media Relations
    613-228-6682
    or
    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Media Relations
    613-759-7972
    1-866-345-7972
    or
    The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
    Margaux Stastny
    Press Secretary
    613-759-1059