Potential EU trade deal may transform export opportunities of Canadian beef

    CALGARY, May 7 /CNW/ - Canada's efforts to strike a comprehensive free
trade agreement with the European Union (EU) offers the potential to achieve
the valuable diversification sought by Canadian producers for reducing
reliance on North American markets. The historic EU-Canada economic
partnership could knock down significant barriers to Canadian beef and open
new opportunities.
    Brad Wildeman, Canadian Cattlemen Association (CCA) President says that
the EU-Canada comprehensive trade deal is by far the biggest trade agreement
that we will ever work on negotiating. "The EU offers the potential for the
largest market for Canadian beef. It's been about a half-million tonnes
deficient in beef over the past couple of years, particularly with the
expansion of the EU block. Canada has a real opportunity to capture this
large, high-volume market, with it's big population of income earners that
share a similar standard of living to Canadians."
    CCA's Vice-President Travis Toews added that the EU consumes over 8
million tonnes of beef per year. "Currently Canada has virtually zero
commercially-viable access to the EU, so it's difficult to quantify the
tonnage that could end up in the EU with preferential access. But the EU group
of countries, with its high-income earners component, is a great fit for our
high-quality grain-fed beef."
    Canada's beef producers hope the agreement achieves unfettered access for
their beef in the EU. However Wildeman cautioned that it's the start of the
process, not the conclusion and could take a year or more to negotiate at
least 20 different areas. "These present many perils and opportunities for
failure, so the industry won't get too excited that the agreement will happen
very quickly."
    The CCA will remain in close contact with the trade negotiators to ensure
a good outcome is achieved for Canadian beef. The industry is glad to see the
federal government is starting with an objective to achieve a comprehensive,
ambitious result. For Canada's beef cattle producers, the potential market
opportunities with the EU could rival Canada's export market into the United
    To learn more about the EU-Canada trade negotiations, plus other foreign
markets where the CCA actively works with federal trade negotiators to achieve
commercially-viable access for Canadian beef and cattle, please visit our
website at www.cattle.ca.

    CCA is the National Voice for the Beef Cattle Industry, representing
nearly 90,000 Canadian Cattle Producers

For further information:

For further information: Sharon Jensen, Communications Manager, (403)
275-8558 ext. 406 or jensens@cattle.ca

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