“The UAE is the first country in the Gulf Cooperation Council region to resume full access (from animals over 30 months of age) to our high-quality beef and this is a significant milestone for Canadian beef producers,” Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said Aug. 2. “We are hopeful that the UAE's decision will encourage other countries in this region to grant full access to Canadian beef”.
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is a regional trading block that represents one of the wealthiest country groupings in the world. It includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The Aug. 2 announcement demonstrates how the UAE supports a science-based international approach to trade. It builds on previous successful negotiations from December 2011 allowing Canadian live cattle to the UAE.
Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) President Martin Unrau welcomed the announcement. “The UAE is the latest country to recognize the safety of Canadian beef and align its import requirements with the science-based standards of the World Animal Health Organization (OIE),” he said. “The UAE joins nearly 70 countries that have either fully or partially re-established access for Canadian beef since closing their borders in 2003. The CCA continues to work to expand market access and applauds the efforts of Ministers Ritz and (International Trade Minister Ed) Fast.”
Canadian exports of beef from animals under thirty months of age (UTM) to the UAE, Canada’s 19th largest beef export market, was worth more than $1 million in 2011. The industry estimates that full market access for beef could provide additional opportunities worth up to $365,000 annually.