China will again be open to buying Canadian pork, according to Canada's Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. The action follows negotiations between the two countries that emphasize the need to recognize World Organization for Animal Health's (OIE) standards for meat products.
Ritz and Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper has completed a trade mission to China, reports Meatingplace.com.
"When our Government works to open and expand markets for Canadian producers around the world we always point to the clear OIE consensus that Canadian pork and beef is safe," Ritz says. "Access to the Chinese market is excellent news for Canadian pork producers and underlines the importance of recognizing international science-based standards."
Last spring, in response to the Novel H1N1 2009 episode, China stopped buying pork from any country reporting Novel H1N1 infections. In December, Harper negotiated to have Canada's ban lifted. Since then his country has worked to develop supplementary certification requirements.
In 2008, Canada's pork sales to China tallied nearly $45 million. Today, the two countries are back talking about possible sales of Canadian live hogs as well.
As for U.S. pork sales to China, last October Chinese officials said that they would resume U.S. pork imports, but Washington and Beijing are still working out the terms and conditions.