OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) — A move by China to stop accepting meat products from Canada could have a price tag as high as a billion dollars a year, according to a food policy expert.
China suspended Canadian meat exports as part of the rising escalations over its diplomatic dispute with Canada on Meng Wanzhou’s arrest.
Dalhousie University’s Sylvain Charlebois says there’s no doubt China’s suspension is retaliation for the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou at the request of the US government.
“Meat is targeted now. We’re not sure exactly what kind of meat and if it includes fish and seafood. Still numbers are significant with livestock,” he says. “Annual sales to China are at around a billion dollars. To replace that market is not an easy thing to do for the industry.”
He expects pork and beef sales to take the biggest hit, but –he says– by admitting some fault, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is trying to work with China to resolve this latest dispute –based on claims a banned feed additive has been found in pork.
Meanwhile, the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association is waiting on confirmation from the CFIA before issuing a response on how this might impact the industry.
– With files from the Canadian Press