Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

June 26, 2008 18:02 ET

Minister Ritz Strengthens Agricultural Ties With Japan

TOKYO, JAPAN--(Marketwire - June 26, 2008) - Canadian farmers produce some of the safest beef in the world and Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz has taken that strong message into meetings with agricultural leaders in Japan.

"The safety and quality of Canadian beef is second to none and our ultimate goal is to gain full access to the Japanese market for our beef and cattle," said Minister Ritz, following his discussion with Masatoshi Wakabayashi, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

Japan currently restricts imports of Canadian beef to animals under 21 months of age which have had specified risk material removed.

"Canada understands the value of food safety," said Minister Ritz. "I reiterated our commitment to providing safe beef exports and also emphasized that Canada has been recognized by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) as a controlled-risk BSE country, and as such, we should have full OIE access to the Japanese market."

Japan is the second-largest importer of Canadian agri-food products, buying more than $3 billion of Canadian agriculture, agri-food and seafood products last year.

"This Government is constantly looking for new and innovative ways to improve market access for Canadian agricultural producers," said Minister Ritz. "Japan is already an important trading partner and we are working hard to maximize opportunities for our farm families in the Japanese market."

Earlier this week, Minister Ritz held two days of productive meetings in Moscow with Russian Agriculture Minister Alexey Gordeyev regarding Canadian pork and beef products.

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
    Margaux Stastny
    Press Secretary