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Canada & Russia Grow Livestock Trade Partnerships

by 5m Editor
18 October 2011, at 10:32am

CANADA & RUSSIA - Canadian livestock producers have stronger ties to Russia following a successful agriculture trade mission led by Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz.

"Our Government is committed to strengthening ties with our Russian partners and creating business opportunities for Canadian farmers and the growth of the entire economy," said Minister Ritz. "The industry is telling me that our efforts are starting to pay off and that trade conditions have improved considerably."

In Moscow, Minister Ritz welcomed the conclusion of bilateral negotiations on agriculture related elements for Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) following meetings with Russian First Deputy Prime Minister, Viktor Zubkov, and Minister of Agriculture, Elena Skrynnik. With Russia's WTO accession, Canadian agriculture exporters can look forward to improved and more predictable access to the Russian market, opening up opportunities for Canadian products.

Minister Ritz took the occasion to thank Russia for its support for the extension of Canada’s current veterinary export certificates until 1 January 2013. This extension comes after Minister Ritz raised with his Russian counterparts on various occasions the importance of continued trade with Russia and the Customs Union. This extension will allow key exports such as fish and seafood, livestock, meat products, animal genetics and day old poultry and hatching eggs to continue to be exported to Russia until a long-term agreement can be concluded with the Customs Union. In 2010, the Customs Union access was valued at approximately $288 million for Canadian farmers and producers.

Minister Ritz also led a Canadian industry delegation and joined them for a Canada-Russia Dialogue on meat, livestock and genetics, which built upon the Canada-Russia Livestock Forum held in Ottawa last June. The meeting concluded with the signing of an agreement between Canada Pork International and the Russian Meat Union that will increase cooperation that benefit trade. This agreement will result in joint initiatives such as personnel exchange; technology demonstration and workshops and information sharing.

"Russia is a growing market and vital partner for Canada's agriculture sector, especially for the livestock industry," said Minister Ritz. "Our Government is pleased to facilitate building stronger trade partnerships for the benefit livestock industries in both countries."

Minister Ritz will visited one of Russia’s unique pork production companies, Mortadel, on 15 October, which operates using Canadian genetics and applying Canadian swine production technology. The Minister will get a first-hand look at how Canadian knowledge and inputs can benefit-Russia and discuss potential growth and trade opportunities for the Canadian industry. Canada was the largest provider of imported pure-bred breeding swine to Russia in 2010 with exports valued at $8 million, representing one quarter of the market share.

In 2010, Canada exported pork valued at $185 million; beef valued at $24 million; and, soybeans valued at $22 million to Russia along with a range of other agricultural products.