CANADA - The Canadian meat industry has welcomed the first international trade mission to Korea following implementation of the historic Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA).
Canadian Meat Council Executive Director Jim Laws participated in the February 8 to 13, 2015 mission that was led by Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade.
“Export sales are absolutely critical to the sustainability of the Canadian livestock and meat sector and Korea is one of the world’s leading import markets for beef and pork,” said Canadian Meat Council Executive Director Jim Laws.
“It is of fundamental importance to our industry that Canadian meat exporters have access to the Korean market on terms that are no less favourable than those available to our competitors,” added Mr Laws.
Characterized by an economy that ranks fifteenth in the world, a population of 50 million mostly middle income consumers, and an import demand that exceeds $2 billion for beef and pork products annually, the South Korean market is highly coveted by all of the globe’s major meat exporting nations. Canadian exports of beef and veal tumbled from 94,000 tonnes in 2011 to 43,000 tonnes in 2014 as our competitors gained preferential access to the critical Korean marketplace.
Implementation of the CKFTA will allow Canadian beef and pork exporters to begin reclaiming their share of the important Korean market.
For countries without trade agreements, South Korean import tariffs are 40 per cent for chilled and frozen beef, 22.5 per cent for chilled pork and 25 per cent for frozen pork.
Under the CKFTA, tariffs for beef cuts are being phased out over 15 years while those for pork cuts will reach zero in the year fifth year.
Canada’s meat processing industry includes some 400 federally registered establishments, providing safe, high quality protein for Canadian consumers as well as creating jobs and bringing economic activity to rural and urban communities across Canada. With annual sales of $23.6 billion, beef exports of $1.9 billion, pork exports of $3.7 billion and 65,000 jobs, the Canadian meat industry is the largest component of this country’s food processing sector.
ThePigSite News Desk
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