Representatives of the Canadian red meat industry are in China this week to continue to build trade relationships between the two countries. The Chinese market was reopened to Canadian pork only last week, following a 4-month suspension.
"During our visit a few weeks back, we heard clearly that we needed to strengthen our relationship with our Chinese customers," says Rick Bergmann, Canadian Pork Council chair. "Activities such as this mission will serve to do just that but will also allow us to thank Chinese officials for their trust and confidence in reopening the market for us."
In addition to meetings in Shanghai, the delegation is set to travel to Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Beijing and Tianjin before concluding their trip. They will be meeting with members of the Canada-China Business Council, Import and Export Food Safety Bureau officials, food importers, retailers, Canadian trade representatives and Canadian consulates.
"Every time I travel to China and meet with our customers and partners, I gain a better understanding of the market, and that informs the decisions we make back in Canada," says Hans Kristensen, CPC first vice-chair. Participants from the Canadian Pork Council, the Canadian Meat Council, Canada Pork International and others will also meet Ambassador Barton. "We look forward to working with Mr. Barton to grow the Canadian pork exports to China and further improve relations," Kristensen says.
In 2018, Canada's pork exports totaled almost $4 billion, of which $514 million was exported to China, making it Canada's third-largest export market. It should be noted that the Canadian pork industry was on pace to double its 2018 sales in 2019 prior to the temporary suspension. Canada expects that pace to continue to accelerate now that the market has reopened.