Full Restoration of Pork Exports to Russia Expected

CANADA - Canada's Agriculture Minister is hopeful the flow of Canadian pork into Russia will be fully restored following inspections of Canadian processing plants by Russian officials next month, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 14 October 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

In May, in response to the spread of H1N1 influenza Russia imposed bans on the import of live pigs and raw pork and pork products from several Canadian provinces.

By the end of June bans had been lifted on products from Alberta, Nova Scotia, British Columbia and Quebec and in mid-July remaining bans on products from Ontario were lifted.

Speaking to reporters yesterday following a trade mission to Russia, which included representatives of the Canadian Beef Breeds Council, the Canadian Beef Export Federation, Canada Pork International and Alta Export International, agriculture minister Gerry Ritz indicated he hopes to see a full restoration of the movement of Canadian pork into Russia following inspections slated for next month of Canadian pork processing plants that had been de-listed.

Gerry Ritz-Canada Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

We're in the midst of continuing work on that file.

It's a matter of having some Russian officials travel to Canada to re-open some of the plants that were de-listed.

We're quite buoyed by the fact there seems to be a mood to get that done very very quickly.

We're also moving forward on the quantity of trim, pork trim that will be allowed back into Russia.

Russia has become a major player in the production of pork and they do require other parts of the pig that we supply, predominantly the trim.

They bring a number of tonnes of pork in from Brazil, half carcass on the rail.

We don't supply our pork that way but we do supply the trim which of course they use here for a lot of their sausage and secondary processing.

Mr Ritz notes the delegation of Russian experts is scheduled to visit Canada next month to look at those de-listed plants to identify what's been done to address the situation at which point those plants can be re-certified.

He says he's hopeful, once those inspections have been completed, the process will be able to move forward quickly.

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