The agreement will provide a boost to Canada’s animal genetics industry, which exported CAD$103.6m worth of semen and embryos in 2012. The Canadian Livestock Genetics Association (CLGA) estimated that animal genetic exports to Turkey could be worth CAD$250,000 over the next five years.
“The demand in Turkey for Canadian sheep and goat genetics is growing, so the resolution of the interruption in technical market access came at a crucial time. Canadian exporters will now be able to engage with their Turkish clients and partners in the confidence that technical barriers to trade in semen and embryos have been removed,” said president of the CLGA Rick McRonald.
Canada has embarked on an aggressive trade expansion strategy in recent years under the government’s Growing Forward 2 policy, which puts an emphasis on improving agricultural competitiveness through market development.
Turkey has been identified as a priority emerging market under this strategy and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada said the deal would not only boost animal genetic exports, but also raise awareness of Canadian agricultural products in Turkey and neighbouring countries.
Agriculture minister Gerry Ritz said: “We are pleased that Turkey recognises the safety and high quality of Canadian agricultural products. This agreement is an important achievement in our continued efforts to expand market access so Canadian producers can continue to grow our economy.”
The latest figures from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada suggest that Canadian agricultural and food exports hit an all time high last year, reaching CAD$47.bn, a 7.4% increase on the CAD$44.4bn achieved in 2011.