Originally published in the January 20, 2020 edition of Agri-News
The Spanish mission to the province has created opportunities for Alberta exporters in the years to come.
Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (AF) collaborated with Canada Beef and the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association to lead an incoming mission for Spanish beef buyers from September 8 to 13, 2019. The delegation included six major buyers and distributors along with a journalist from Beef! Magazine.
The mission included meetings and site visits to the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association’s head office, the University of Calgary’s W.A. Anderson Ranch, a feed yard, beef processors and Canada Beef’s Centre of Excellence. During the program, buyers engaged directly with potential suppliers and saw first-hand how cattle were raised and handled at each stage in the supply chain. By visiting ranchlands and state-of-the-art packing plants, the buyers gained full confidence in Alberta’s ability to produce top-quality beef. They also saw how select producers comply with European Union (EU) certification – a necessary requisite for exporting to the EU.
The program left a strong impression on the buyers. They found the mission provided the contacts and information they hoped for when travelling to Alberta. One buyer remarked that the mission was an excellent opportunity to import beef from Alberta.
“This has been a great opportunity to visit and learn about your country,” remarked one buyer. “I hope that we develop a future business that is long-lasting and prosperous.”
The buyers are currently waiting for Canadian suppliers to receive EU certification. Once they are certified, the buyers will be ready to start moving Canadian beef into Spain on a consistent basis. The mission established a relationship that will be fruitful for years to come.
The Spanish market provides an excellent opportunity for Alberta exporters. In 2018, Alberta did not record any beef exports to Spain. However, with the recent ratification of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the EU, there is opportunity for growth in Spain and the rest of the EU market. CETA provides Canada with preferential market access to the EU’s more than 500 million consumers and eliminates close to 94% of European import tariffs on agricultural products. In 2018, Alberta exported beef to the U.K., the Netherlands, France and Germany, with the UK being the largest EU buyer at $7.6 million, followed closely by the Netherlands at $7.1 million.
For more information about this mission, connect with Stephen Jarvis, international initiatives officer with AF:
Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)