Singapore move good news for Canadian beef
While it took almost three months, Canada has finally seen its BSE negligible risk status yield a market access gain and the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association is hoping it will lead to more breakthroughs.
In late August, Singapore became the first country to drop its import restrictions on Canadian beef since the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) recognized Canada as a BSE negligible risk country in May almost 18 years from the discovery of the first case was found in an Alberta cow.
Singapore now accepts all Canadian beef, including beef offal, with no age restrictions. “While Singapore is not currently a large market for Canadian beef, CCA is pleased with the market access progress as diverse market access leads to trade resiliency and the highest overall value for Canadian farmers and ranchers,” said CCA President Bob Lowe. “We are encouraged by Singapore’s change and hope others will follow soon.”
Until the change, Singapore had accepted only Canadian boneless beef and bone-in beef from animals under 30 months of age. It will now accept expanded types of beef and beef products. Canadian beef exports to Singapore peaked in 2014 and slipped to nearly negligible in 2019 and no trade was reported in 2020 or the first half of 2021.
While most of Canada’s trading partners had already approved all Canadian beef based on Canada’s previous OIE BSE controlled risk status, several key trading partners such as China, Taiwan and South Korea have yet to approve all Canadian beef, the CCA said. It is working with the federal government to have all remaining BSE restrictions on Canadian beef exports removed. Additionally, CCA is working to align the removal of Specified Risk Material (SRM) Removal with the U.S.
Last year, Canada exported 425,109 tonnes of beef to 53 countries, valued at $3.3 billion. Lowe said the change in risk status “will help facilitate expanded access to foreign markets for various beef products currently limited by BSE era restrictions. The control of BSE across the globe is a remarkable achievement for the membership of the OIE.”
(Article by Alex Binkley)
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