The EU has welcomed Canada's reopening of its market to imports of European beef from 19 member states, saying it would provide "a welcome boost to Europe's beef producers and exporters, particularly…at a time when farmers across the EU are going through a…difficult period".
"By re-authorising 19 member states at once, Canada recognises that the EU functions as a single entity with uniform and harmonised rules and standards, where enforcement is overseen by the European Commission. This is an important development and will further improve the trade relations with Canada on sanitary and phytosanitary issues", said EU Health and Food Safety Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis, Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström and Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan in a joint statement issued Tuesday, October 20.
The statement said work was ongoing between the European Commission and the Canadian authorities to re-establish meat trade from the EU member states that still don't have access to the Canadian market.
At the same time the three EU officials, in their statement, called on other countries that still impose a ban on EU beef to "recognise the robust, comprehensive and successful measures put in place by the EU to eradicate BSE".
The 19 member states that can now export their beef to Canada are Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK.
Canada banned EU beef imports in 1996 due to BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) or mad cow disease concerns.