South Korea has lifted its temporary ban on Canadian beef and veal that was imposed after the 19th case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy was confirmed in Alberta last year.
South Korea had been Canada’s fourth-biggest export market for beef in 2002, prior to the discovery of Canada’s first domestic case of BSE — after which Korea closed its ports to Canadian product until 2012.
In 2014, South Korea was Canada’s sixth biggest beef buyer, taking $25.8 million in imports, which made Canada the fourth-biggest shipper of beef into the South Korean market after Australia, the U.S. and New Zealand.
“South Korea holds huge potential for beef and especially cuts and offals that are underutilized here at home,” said Dave Solverson, president of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association.
“Korea is a market that will pay more for those select items and that helps to increase the overall value of the animal for producers.”
Combined with the free trade pact, Seoul’s announcement “allows Canadian beef and veal exporters to begin the process of reclaiming a greater share of the important Korean market,” said Matt Gibney, chairman of the beef, veal and lamb committee of the Canadian Meat Council.