Some good news for beef producers in Canada with the reopening of the Mexican market for cattle over thirty months.
The Director of Government and International Relations for the Canadian Cattlemen's Association John Masswohl says it's something that goes back to 2003 when the border was shut after the one case of BSE in Canada.
"Mexico was one of the first markets to re-open on the under 30 month piece and we've always wanted to get the over 30 month and I can't tell you how many meetings I've been at with Mexicans, our industry counterparts as well as Government to Government meeting and we've finally got her done," Masswohl says.
He says before BSE in 2003 Mexico was one of the top beef importers from our country.
Prior to BSE, Canada was exporting between $270 million to $290 million of beef per year to Mexico, of which approximately 20 to 25 per cent was OTM.
Mexico has been Canada’s third largest export market the past three years. From 2011 to 2015, Canada averaged $136 million in annual beef exports to Mexico.
"I'm sure a lot of folks remember back in '04, '05, '06 when we were desperate, desperate for anywhere to get product to and Mexico took quite a bit," he says. "You know even in those pre-BSE days before the restrictions were in, nearly a quarter of what we sent to Mexico was the over 30 month beef and so that's why we've always felt it was important to get that back."
Access for Canadian beef will start in October. Masswohl says that's perfect because it's traditionally when producers send most of their breeding cows to market.