Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso celebrate a tentative new trade agreement between Canada and the Europan Union.Photo courtesy of the Prime Minister's Office.
Oct. 23, 2013, Ottawa, ON - Chicken Farmers of Canada (CFC) has significant concerns with certain provisions within the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) signed by Canada last Friday.
Canada's chicken industry is a sector that has benefitted every provincial economy and Canadian consumers for generations. "The Canadian chicken industry serves Canada well," said Dave Janzen, CFC Chair. "We're the number one meat protein in Canada, we're the first and only organization to receive full government recognition for our On-Farm Food Safety Assurance Program, we have an auditable Animal Care Program and we provide the country with 56,000 jobs and $6.5 billion in GDP contributions."
The EU and Canada recognized early in the negotiating process that there was not a commercial interest in poultry meat or eggs. Despite this, CFC finds the significant and unprecedented market access concessions granted to the European Union (EU) for fine cheese troubling, given that the government was unable to conclude the CETA using the same successful model employed in previous trade agreements - ones that achieved substantial market access gains for Canadian exporters while preserving the integrity of Canada's supply management systems.
"We stand by our record of openness to the Canadian chicken market," says Janzen, "Canada is the 15th largest importer of chicken in the world. All of these imports enter Canada duty-free or at a very low tariff."
CFC says they look forward to working with government on the details of the agreement to ensure that EU actually permits the negotiated access to occur and that there are no leakages that forestall the government's commitment to maintain the integrity of the import control pillar of our system.