Canadian Cattlemen’s Association sees beef potential in Europe

More vets needed to certify animals were raised without growth promotants


By Alex Binkley, Contributor, Manitoba Co-operator

August 12, 2019


Canada could be selling more beef to Europe if it increased the number of veterinarians trained to approve cattle for shipment there or secured approval for using Verified Beef Production Plus (VBP+) to meet European requirements, the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) says.


Since the free trade agreement with Europe came into effect nearly two years ago, European beef shipments to Canada have risen from 1,719 tonnes in 2016 to 3,237 tonnes in 2018, and 2,641 tonnes for the first five months of 2019, CCA says. Canadian exports to the EU have grown from 340 tonnes in 2016 to 1,059 tonnes in 2018, with 653 tonnes reported in the first five months of 2019.


While Canada’s shipments have been hindered by EU rules restricting the use of growth promoters, the CCA notes the gap on value is much narrower than on volume with the EU selling $18.9 million of beef to Canada in 2018 and Canada selling $15.5 million to the EU.”


The CCA says it’s optimistic about the future sales and that sales representatives in Europe report that they have turned a corner from introducing EU meat buyers to the benefits of Canadian beef to now having it become a regular product in several restaurants and retail chains in the U.K., Netherlands, Germany, Austria and Sweden. They stressed that their main constraint to selling more Canadian beef in the EU is the limited supply of EU-eligible cattle in Canada.


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