One of the Canadian Cattlemen's Association's top market access priorities has been addressed. The CCA is welcoming news that Canadian beef producers will have access to a 20 thousand tonne duty free quota in the European Union.

Beef exported under this quota must still be produced without the use of growth hormones. The United States and Australia already have access to the quota.

"Up to this point, we know that beef that we ship to the EU has to be produced without growth promotants, and Canadians will and do produce that. The problem has been a prohibitively high tariff," explains John Masswohl, director of government and international relations with the CCA. "So now this gives us, as a first step, access to this 20 thousand tonnes that the Americans and Australians have already been able to ship under for a year and a half."

"The EU is a market that consumes eight million tonnes of beef per year and it's a high income market. It's the kind of market that Canada needs access to," says Masswohl. "For years and years we've had virtually no access."

The 20 thousand tonne quota was created in response to the WTO Dispute Panel ruling that the EU ban on growth hormones was not scientifically justified. The quota will be increased to 45 thousand tonnes in 2012. A staged addition will further increase the quota by another 3200 tonnes for a total available quota of 48,200 tonnes.

Masswohl says even better news for beef could be on the horizon with negotiations continuing on the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement.

~ Thursday, November 25, 2010 ~