Canadian beef exporters will have access to the Saudi Arabian market for the first time since 2003. Canadas Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz made this announcement following his meeting with Saudi Arabian Minister of Commerce and Industry Abdullah Bin Ahmed Zeinal Alireza in Riyadh.
Step by step this Government was reopening markets to Canadian beef producers, said Ritz.
Saudi Arabia was Canada’s sixth largest market for exports of beef prior to a BSE-related ban imposed in 2003. Today’s agreement reopens the Saudi Arabian market to Canadian boneless beef exports from animals under thirty months of age. Canada and Saudi Arabia agreed to continue extensive negotiations with the goal of fully reopening access for Canadian beef exports.
The Canada Beef Export Federation estimates that full market access to Saudi Arabia would allow Canadian beef exporters to re-establish previous export levels worth nearly $6 million.
Minister Ritz was in Saudi Arabia as part of a Middle East mission to create and expand new marketing opportunities for Canadian producers. During his visit to Riyadh, Minister Ritz met key importers and Saudi government ministers. Minister Ritz and his counterpart Agriculture Minister H.E. Dr. Fahd Bin Abdulrahman Balghunaim directed officials to resolve market access issues.
The announcement follows an agreement that gives Canadian beef exporters full access to the Jordanian market.
The Canada Beef Export Federation estimates that the value of Canadian beef exports to Jordan could rise to as much as $1 million annually.
Minister Ritz will also travel to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) this week where he will attend the Gulfood Show in Dubai. Gulfood is the largest food industry exhibition in the Middle East where Canadian exporters connect with Middle East buyers.
Source: AGR – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada