Packers approved to move beef, pork to Ukraine

Inspectors have approved 15 Canadian beef and pork processing plants to export to Ukraine, more than doubling the number of Canadian meat plants able to ship to the country.

Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay and Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland on Monday announced Ukraine has, essentially, approved beef and pork exports from any Canadian federally-registered establishment that meets certification requirements, bringing the total number of eligible meat plants to 27.

Among the meat plants approved effective Dec. 22, 2015 are Cargill’s beef plants at High River, Alta. and Guelph, Ont., the JBS beef packing plant at Brooks, Alta. and the Maple Leaf pork plants at Brandon, Man. and Lethbridge, Alta.

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Canadian Meat Council president Joe Reda said in the government’s release he’s “pleased that export approval has been received for all 15 Canadian meat packing and processing establishments that were visited by the Ukrainian audit team” in September.

Canada’s meat industry, he said, “appreciates and values highly the continuing efforts of the Canadian government to obtain export approval for the additional companies that are interested in the Ukrainian market.”

The government’s announcement comes as Canadian and Ukrainian officials put the negotiated text of their free trade agreement, on which they concluded talks in July, through legal review.

The Canada/Ukraine free trade deal calls for elimination of “the vast majority” of Ukraine’s tariffs on Canadian agricultural and agri-food imports, including beef and fresh chilled pork, and a “large” tariff rate quota (TRQ) for frozen pork, under which pork may also enter Ukraine duty-free.

According to the CMC in July, the deal, once fully implemented by the two governments, is to provide duty-free access to Ukraine for “unlimited” beef and veal, duty-free access for 20,000 tonnes of frozen pork, and duty-free access for unlimited fresh chilled pork.

In 2014, by comparison, Canada’s meat exports to Ukraine included 25 tonnes of beef and veal products, valued at $47,000, and 2,031 tonnes of pork, valued at $4.4 million, the CMC said.

From all exporting nations, Ukraine’s imports of beef products in 2014 were valued at $17.1 million and pork products at $193.6 million, the government said Monday. — AGCanada.com Network

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