Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Canada Continues Pressing to Re-Open Korean Market to Canadian Beef Exporters

Canada Continues Pressing to Re-Open Korean Market to Canadian Beef Exporters

The Government of Canada is continuing to work hard to re-open the Korean market to our world-class Canadian beef. Based on science and international standards, the Canadian beef industry has a strong case and we are committed to regaining market access for Canadian exporters.

Commentary: The riot fires have barely cooled on the last big local emotional debacle which was President Lee's incubus, "The US Beef Riots of 2008." Is it really the optimum time to visit this issue locally in Korea? Wouldn't it be better to foist Canadian offshore university campuses here first?

"The quality and safety of Canadian beef is recognized around the world," said Canada's Agriculture Minister, Gerry Ritz. "We are committed to providing our exporters with every possible opportunity and we are working to resume trade to Korea as soon as possible."

Commentary: Was not the "Mad Cow" which spoiled USDA beef's positioning in Korea found to originate in Canada?

Canadian and Korean veterinary officials held technical negotiations November 3-4, 2008, aimed at moving toward an agreement on the import requirements for Canadian beef. Restoring market access will allow Korean consumers to access safe, high-quality Canadian beef and beef products at competitive prices.

Commentary: None of the major Korean retailers have taken on USDA beef for fear of store burnings and loss of local market image. Canadian beef would then be subject to USDA beef competition for back alley sales.

Korean officials will be visiting Canada later this month to conduct on-site visits to Canadian beef slaughter facilities to see first hand the effectiveness of Canada's food safety and animal health safeguards.

Commentary: I hope they are not directed to Maple Leaf plants.

Korea banned imports of Canadian beef in May 2003, after bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) was discovered in a Canadian cow. Prior to that point, Korea represented the fourth-largest market for Canadian beef, with $50 million in annual sales.

Commentary: A case of a bad apple which spoils the export barrel.

In May 2007, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) officially categorized Canada as a Controlled Risk country for BSE, meaning the standards implemented in Canada meet the requirements for safe trade in a broad range of commodities.

Commentary: It might be better to move forward with a comprehensive free trade agreement first allowing Canadians to concede that Koreans are not much interested in North American cars. It just does not appear an opportune time to be pushing Canadian meats on Koreans with protectionist tendancies in a bear market. Their national hanwoo cow sentiments do not rest deeply and any gaulings might raise their gall.

No comments: