Food In Canada

Canada gains full access to Japanese beef market

By Food in Canada Staff   

Exporting & Importing Meat &Poultry Editor pick

For the first time in two decades, Japan is reopening its doors to Canadian processed beef.

This accomplishment ushers in a new era for Canada and its second-largest market for beef and beef products: expanding market access for Canadian exporters, while also benefiting Japanese consumers who will have greater access to Canada’s high-quality beef products.

The development also removes the last restrictions on Canadian beef that Japan put in place in 2003 after the discovery of a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in Alberta.

Under the new Indo-Pacific Strategy, the federal government committed to seizing economic opportunities for Canada by strengthening its regional partnerships, including with Japan. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency, with the support of Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, has worked over the past few years to assert the highest production standards and quality assurance of Canadian beef in order to reopen full access in key markets like Japan.


Japan is an important market for Canada and the world. In 2022, the Japanese market for Canadian beef and beef products had an estimated value of $518 million, largely due to Canada’s preferential access under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

This expanded market access opportunity follows another loosening of restrictions in 2019, when Japan approved imports of Canadian beef from cattle older than 30 months.

“The Canadian Meat Council is very pleased to see this expansion of our beef access to Japan. Our members view this as a critical market for their products, including processed beef and beef patties. This agreement will allow our industry to further build on the recent successes they have enjoyed in Japan since the CPTPP was ratified. Thank you to Ministers Bibeau and Ng, and the hard work done by CFIA to achieve this new opportunity,” said Christopher White, president and CEO of the Canadian Meat Council.

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