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China offers promise for Canadian pork

16 November 2018, at 12:00a.m.

The Chair of Canada Pork International says China offers a tremendous market opportunity for the Canadian pork sector

Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAulay, accompanied by representatives of Canada's agri-food sector concluded a successful 10-day trade mission to China earlier this week.

Neil Ketlison, the Chair of Canada Pork International, who participated in the Shanghai portion of the visit, notes China has over a billion people, roughly 10 times that of Japan, so Canada needs to be there.

Mr Ketlison said, "Japan is our largest market. We sell over a billion dollars of pork there every year. It is a mature market, it is a lucrative market and quite frankly it's a market we want to maintain and grow.

"The Chinese take a wider variety of product including a lot of the offal that would be produced by pigs. Things like that go into the Chinese market.

"It's mostly a frozen market right now. We ship a little over 500 million dollars of frozen product in there of various forms.

"Really though, when you look at the Chinese market, China has changed a lot in the last number of years. There is a growing middle class there that are quite interested in Canadian pork and they're quite interested in safe quality food and the kinds of products we can contribute to them.

"I hope people appreciate that there's a lot of Chinese professionals that probably make as much money as a professional here makes and so they have the ability, they have the incentive to explore and buy good quality safe food and we provide that in spades."

Mr Ketilson notes Shanghai alone has a population of 26 million people, 80 percent of the population of Canada, concentrated in a small area.

He says all indications from the buyers he met are that there's a significant increase in demand and Canada can supply some of that demand.

Source Farmscape.Ca