Monday, October 31, 2016
On behalf of Manitoba pork producers, Manitoba Pork Chair George Matheson welcomes the signing of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) in Brussels on Sunday, October 30, 2016.
The 28-country European Union (EU), with a population of 500 million, is both the world’s largest exporter (C$188 billion) and largest importer (C$166 billion) of agriculture and agri-food products. However, imports of consumer-oriented items such as meat continue to face significant tariff and non-tariff trade barriers. CETA will secure tariff free access for processed and fresh pork products equivalent to almost 80,000 tonnes after a phased-in period of five years.
Europe is the only important pork-consuming region in the world for which Canada currently has little effective market access. Limited by very high tariffs and onerous import administration rules, Canada’s pork exports to the EU in 2011 were only 415 tonnes. This compares to total Canadian pork exports in that year of over 1.1 million tonnes.
The 500 million inhabitants of the EU member states consume over 20 million tonnes of pork a year – almost 30 times Canadian consumption. Despite this, EU pork imports are just 0.2% of its domestic consumption. By comparison, Canada, with a completely open market for pork products, imports over 200,000 tonnes of pork annually – about 33% of our domestic consumption.
“The opportunity to access a wide variety of markets, such as those that CETA will deliver, is key to Manitoba’s continued success as a globally competitive producer and exporter of high-quality pork and pork products to the world,” notes Matheson. “While there are ongoing technical negotiations with CETA, we are hopeful that these can be resolved, allowing Manitoba pork producers to enjoy a significant increase in exports to the European Union.”
Manitoba Pork is the voice of Manitoba’s pork producers and is dedicated to ensuring a prosperous and sustainable pork industry. Manitoba has the distinction of being the largest pork exporter in Canada. Over 93% of the pork from hog farms in Manitoba is exported to the rest of Canada and to about 35 countries worldwide. The Manitoba pork industry contributes over $1.7 billion and 13,000 jobs to the provincial economy each year.