Led by EU Farm Commissioner Phil Hogan, Copa and Cogeca are taking part this week in a trade mission to Canada which offers a good opportunity to find new markets for our produce and to meet traders, after a free trade deal was finalised with Canada this year (CETA).
The mission includes a delegation of 60 European agri-food executives and Commissioner Hogan, with back-to-back meetings with Canadian Ministers, traders and industry.
Speaking from Canada, Copa and Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen said “We see this mission as a good way to promote our produce, meet importers and increase awareness of the high standards that we meet and to ensure effective implementation of CETA”.
“We believe that the CETA agreement can deliver for both sides provided that it is managed properly and tariff rate quotas (TRQs) on imports of agricultural products are managed to avoid market failure. It is vital to ensure market access for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), especially cooperatives. Red tape in Canada must be minimized to lower the threshold for SMEs to enter the Canadian market”, he stressed.
“We welcome in particular the better access for EU dairy products and wine to the Canadian markets but we will remain vigilant especially vis a vis the increased market access for Canadian beef meat and pig meat to the EU under the deal. The prohibition of growth promoters is also good in beef production and “ractopamine free pig meat”, he added.
“Together with Commissioner Hogan, our members also took part last year in trade missions to Hong Kong, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Columbia and we are starting to see some results from them. Already, we have seen some new demands from importers in Hong Kong for our quality beef. Hong Kong is our second biggest market for beef after Turkey and imports increased by 12, 000 t last year compared to 2015. New market opportunities are also being seen in the grain sector after visiting these countries”.