Ottawa, Ont. – Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s recent trade mission to China will result in a series of new agricultural and agri-food trade agreements between the two countries.
That’s according to Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, who noted that the government intends to grow its strong trade relationship with China for agriculture products such as beef, canola, pork, grain, pulses and genetics. In 2010 Canadian producers exported $2.6 billion worth of agricultural and agri-food products to China.
Ritz also announced several agricultural initiatives coming out of the trade talks. They include:
- Canadian exports of bovine tallow for industrial use in China – worth $50 million annually – can begin again after almost a decade.
- China has agreed to certify additional Canadian plants to export beef to China, and will begin technical discussions on expanding beef access.
- A joint technical working group will be formed to create a Canada-China Co-operation Dairy Farm Pilot Project and discuss technical export conditions for Canadian dairy cattle.
- A new commitment by Chinese feed company Tongwei Co. Ltd. to increase its purchase of Canadian canola meal by up to $240 million annually by 2015. The company says its imports of Canadian canola could jump to $900 million over the next 10 years.
- A new contract for Canadian swine genetics worth $1.6 million. Canada’s Genesus Inc., one of the world’s top swine breeding companies, signed a contract with China’s Best Genetics for 1,000 swine, one of 23 agreements that together total almost $3 billion.
“China is an important market for Canadian farmers and by working together with Chinese producers and processors we can open new windows of opportunity in both countries,” said Ritz. “Strengthening the Canada-China agricultural trade relationship with these agreements is the result of the strong trade relationship we have built with our Chinese partners over many years.”