Canada to reopen market

October 27th, 2015 5:10 PM

By Southern Star Team

Rose O'Donovan - Letter From Brussels

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THE Canadian government looks set to reopen its market for imports of European beef from nineteen countries including Ireland, UK, France, Germany, Spain, Greece and Italy, it emerged this week.

The Canadian market has been closed to any beef from the European Union, including deboned beef since 1996, when Canada introduced import restrictions on meat from ruminants following the outbreak of BSE (commonly known as mad cow disease). EU Farm Commissioner Phil Hogan welcomed Ottawa’s decision 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 time’. 

The news coincided with the results of the general election where Canada’s centrist Liberal Party swept to power, ending nearly a decade of Conservative rule. 

The new leader, Justin Trudeau – the 43-year-old son of the late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau – who takes over the reins from Stephen Harper, said Canadian people were ready for ‘a real change.’ 

EU Farm Ministers travel to Luxembourg this Thursday, October 22nd, for their monthly meeting. The gathering will be dominated by fisheries-related items, with the Luxembourg presidency keen to secure political agreement on fishing opportunities in the Baltic Sea for 2016.  

Ministers will decide on the maximum quantities of fish (total allowable catches) and fishing effort limits (number of days at sea) for Baltic cod stocks. Further fisheries talks – which usually run well into the night – will continue at the last Council just before Christmas. 

In the run-up to the United Nations Climate Summit in Paris later this year (November 30th to December 11th), the main item on this month’s Council agenda will be how farming can tackle the effects of climate change. Agriculture in the broad sense – including forestry, fisheries and aquaculture – can and must play a central role in addressing climate change, particularly in adapting its impacts such as water scarcity, soil erosion and degradation of biodiversity and wildlife. 

Research and innovation are key to sustainable agricultural production, while there needs to be more targeted policies and investments to adapt farming to the impacts of climate change, including reducing deforestation and overfishing, improving soil fertility and achieving lower greenhouse gas emissions. 

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