National Pig Association - The voice of the British pig industry

Pig World logo

Home > News > EU-Canada deal to open up niche export opportunities?

EU-Canada deal to open up niche export opportunities?

21st Sep 2017 / By Alistair Driver

A new trade deal between the EU and Canada could open up small 'niche' opportunities for exporters, according to AHDB Pork. 

cetaThe Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) comes into effect today.

Pork has been designated as a sensitive product, which means Canada has been granted a tariff free quota of 62,500 tonnes product weight, which will be phased in over a six year transition period. This is in addition to the 4,625 tonnes of quota Canada currently has. This total is equivalent to 0.4% of total EU consumption. Any pig meat exported to the EU will have to meet all EU food safety standards.

Canada is mainly an exporter of pig meat rather than an importer. Canadian costs of production are around 25% lower than those in the EU, therefore Canada is unlikely to become a key market for EU exports. However, there is potentially a small niche market in Canada for high-welfare, antibiotic free and hormone free pig meat which the EU could provide for, AHDB Pork said.

Of course, any EU trade deals might soon have limited relevance to the UK as we negotiate our exit from the EU. What replaces them, and when, will soon become big questions. 

And when it comes to the likes of low-cost pig meat exporting countries like Canada, the spotlight for our sector will be on imports - and whether the UK will stick to the EU's current insistence on equivalent standards - rather than, initially at least, on export opportunities.