CANADA - The Canadian Meat Council reports Canadian beef and pork processing plants are taking steps to capitalise on improved access to Ukraine as a result of a new Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement, writes Bruce Cochrane.
On Tuesday the federal government announced the successful completion of negotiations aimed at securing a Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement.
The agreement must still be ratified by the two governments, a process which is expected to take a minimum of one year, but once fully implemented, the deal will provide duty-free access for an unlimited quantity of beef and veal, duty-free access for an unlimited quantity of fresh chilled pork and duty-free access for 20,000 tonnes of frozen pork.
Ron Davidson, the director of international trade, government and media relations with the Canadian Meat Council, says last year Ukraine was Canada's 28th largest market.
Ron Davidson-Canadian Meat Council:
There are currently a number of plants in Canada that are approved to export to the European Union.
Any plant that's approved to export to the European Union is eligible to export to Ukraine.
In addition we have several plants that are approved by Ukraine specifically, so those plants can already export under the current import terms.
The advantage, once the agreement goes into effect, is that we will be having duty free access for beef, we will be having duty free access for fresh chilled pork and progressively increasing from 10,000 to 20,000 tonnes duty free access for frozen, so we are preparing for that.
Also we are expecting this fall, a Ukrainian technical delegation which will review the Canadian meat inspection system and will also be looking at additional plants so, actually in this case, the technical side is moving ahead in anticipation of the entry into force of this agreement sometime next year.
Mr Davidson said several plants have expressed an interest in obtaining approval this fall so they can begin exporting to Ukraine.
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