The re-opening of Canada’s fourth-largest export market could bring CAD$30m to beef producers by 2015. “Improved trade with South Korea is a priority for the Canadian agriculture industry and the South Korean Government’s co-operation in restoring access to Canadian beef will further strengthen trade relations between our two countries,” Ritz said.
“Our government has worked tirelessly to ensure the Korean market is re-opened to high-quality Canadian beef, and the Korean government’s decision to restore access is the direct result of these efforts.”
Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper welcomed the news and hailed the government’s efforts to gain access to international markets for beef farmers. “This decision confirms what we have been saying all along: Canadian cattle, beef and beef products are safe, high quality, and should be available in countries around the world,” he said.
“While this relationship will be very beneficial to Canada’s beef industry, our government remains confident that this decision will also help create a favourable climate that will lead to a deeper trade relationship with South Korea – a priority market for Canada,” Harper added.
After South Korea banned imports of Canadian beef, due to a bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) outbreak in 2003, Canada requested a World Trade Organisation panel to review the restriction, arguing that there was no scientific basis to the ban. The process to lift the interdiction was initiated in June 2011, and Korea is now the last Asian market to re-open access to Canadian beef.