Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Trade assistance for meat industry

The federal and Ontario governments are offering help to the meat industry impacted by trade disruptions.

The Ontario government is open to applications for a Market Access Initiative, a federal-provincial cost-share program open to  food and agri-product exporters to assist them in accessing new markets. 

It’s intended for agricultural organizations and other value chain partners in the beef, pork, and grain sectors. 

The Market Access Initiative will commit up to $1 million to market diversification projects and is supported through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

Up to a third of Ontario’s beef and 70 per cent of its pork is exported and there have been disruptions in exports to China and Saudi Arabia and side effects from tariffs imposed by the United States, Mexico and Canada.

Since 2014 the Ontario beef industry has made a strong commitment to growing brand recognition and strategic partnerships in Saudi Arabia, a market that had grown to over $26.5 million for Ontario beef exports in 2017, said Beef Farmers of Ontario.

The Ontario Corn Fed Beef program has become one of the most recognized and valued premium beef brands in the high-valued Saudi market. 

“Current challenges serve as an important reminder of the need to invest in systems to diversify and strengthen our exports,” Beef Farmers of Ontario said.

“However, other agricultural sectors have received billions of dollars in commitments to help offset losses and potential losses incurred as a result of recent trade agreements and disruptions.

“The beef sector, like all agricultural sectors, deserves an equitable level of support and assistance proportionate to the harm received.”