In this file:
· Meat industry says China’s pork, beef ban costing it $100-million, asks for assistance, clear strategy
· Joint News Release: Red Meat Industry Seeks Government Action Over China Situation
Meat industry says China’s pork, beef ban costing it $100-million, asks for assistance, clear strategy
Steven Chase, The Globe and Mail (Canada)
September 5, 2019
Canadian meat-packers and processors say the economic cost to their industry of China’s ban on pork and beef shipments from Canada is nearing $100-million and they’re asking Ottawa to explain how it will resolve the impasse.
The Canadian Meat Council, which represents 55 federally inspected meat packers and processors, said it’s also asking the federal government for financial assistance “given that what transpired had nothing to do with anything industry had done wrong but industry has borne the brunt of the losses.”
Canadian farmers and the agri-food industry have seen sales to China severely damaged in the wake of Canada’s arrest last December of a senior Chinese tech executive at the Vancouver International Airport.
China has repeatedly urged Canada to release Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, who was detained on a U.S. extradition request. Ms. Meng will likely have to remain in Canada for years as she fights extradition to the United States under the Canada-U.S. extradition treaty. The Americans allege Ms. Meng helped the company violate U.S. economic sanctions against Iran.
In the months since her arrest, China has stopped buying Canadian canola seed and soybeans, and in late June barred imports of Canadian pork and beef.
The industry body, which represents packers and processors, signalled that anxiety is growing as the days tick by.
“We have been patient and respectful with the government. But as we are entering our third month … and as Chinese importers establish arrangements with alternate suppliers, it will be increasingly difficult for Canada to regain market share once the suspension is lifted,” the Canadian Meat Council said in a statement
“The financial investments made and commercial relations built to position Canadian meat in China are eroding daily and our global brand will be negatively impacted.”
Chris White, president of the Canadian Meat Council, said if the suspension of Canadian pork and beef shipment continues, there will be layoffs in the industry. He said the abrupt closing of China’s market forced Canadians to sell meat inventories at a discount elsewhere.
Mr. White said the industry wants Ottawa to make clear its strategy to reopen the Chinese market and ensure the industry has new options to sell exports elsewhere.
“You’ve got Canadian companies that have lost millions of dollars. And I think the frustration on the part of industry is there is no clear strategy for China,” he said.
“China is our second-largest trading partner but if you asked somebody in our industry or other industries in the agriculture sector what is the government’s strategy for China, it’s not particularly clear.”
He said he hopes Canada’s appointment this week of a new ambassador to China will help.
Mr. White said his industry is calling on all political parties to explain how they will resolve the matter.
“The longer Canadian producers and exporters remain pawns in a political standoff – the more the threat of job losses will be felt. The red meat sector represents 266,000 jobs from farm to fork.”
A working group that includes the federal government, industry and unions has been formed to discuss compensation...
Joint News Release: Red Meat Industry Seeks Government Action Over China Situation
Source: Canadian Cattlemen’s Association
September 5, 2019
Ottawa, ON - The cost of the “temporary suspension” of Canadian pork and beef exports to China imposed on June 25 is approaching $100 million and the longer it continues, the greater the risk to Canadian jobs. As we enter the third month of suspension, the pork and beef sectors are calling on the Government to make clear their strategy to reopen the Chinese market and ensure we have more options for export diversification when such issues arise.
The suspension of product came on June 25th, triggered by China Customs discovering a shipment of non-Canadian pork exhibiting technical irregularities and fraudulently certified as Canadian with falsified documents. Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has provided China Customs with all the information and analysis requested to demonstrate that the source of the infractions was not Canadian. CFIA has also assured China of the strong mechanisms in place in Canada to ensure compliance with all of China’s technical requirements.
Canadian pork and beef farmers and exporters have been patient and supported the Government’s efforts to find a resolution to the issue. However, as CFIA’s representations that Canada is a victim, not a culprit, have failed to resolve the matter, it becomes clear that bigger political issues are the true obstacles that the Canadian government must resolve.
We call on all parties ahead of the upcoming election to articulate how they see this file being resolved. The longer Canadian producers and exporters remain pawns in a political stand-off - the more the threat of job losses will be felt. The red meat sector represents 266,000 jobs from farm to fork.
We have been patient and respectful with the Government. But we are entering our third month out of China and as Chinese importers establish arrangements with alternate suppliers, it will be increasingly difficult for Canada to regain market share once the suspension is lifted. The financial investments made and commercial relations built to position Canadian meat in China are eroding daily and our global brand will be negatively impacted.
The industry also expects to have a meaningful discussion on building export resilience and compensation for the millions of dollars lost by the Canadian farmers and exporters who have been the victims of the suspension. The red meat sector has seen its highs and lows in this market over the years but China remains a key trading partner for Canada. Canada has high quality and safe meat to sell and we know Chinese consumers want and need it.
For more information, please contact:
Stina Nagel, Stakeholder Engagement Advisor
Canadian Cattlemen’s Association
firstname.lastname@example.org | www.cattle.ca