Paraguayan beef granted entry into Canadian market

Canada’s Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) greenlighted the entry of Paraguayan meat into their market with nine packing plants already authorized to start shipments. Paraguayan President Santiago Peña celebrated the good news with postings on social media. “I congratulate all the institutions and sectors involved for this important achievement,” he wrote.

Paraguay’s National Service of Quality and Animal Health (Senacsa) published the list of plants cleared by the Canadian government and highlighted the demanding sanitary standards that needed to be met.

Senacsa President José Carlos Martin explained that it took Paraguayan producers almost three and a half years of intense work and negotiations to meet Canada’s requirements. “It is a volume similar to the US market,” he also pointed out. “This year we could export 3,000 to 4,000 tons [to the US] but our goal is always going to be according to the learning curve we have because now we have to enter to compete, convince and conquer,” he added.

Martin also noted that 97% of beef exports were boneless meat. “Before it was 100% but we enabled the shipment of meat with bones to Israel, so it is going but very little. It has a cushioning effect, because the higher the export, the higher the production, so the meat with bone is left here,” he elaborated. The latest achievement was the result of “a learning process,” he also underlined. Now that Paraguayan beef has landed in Canada, the export volumes will depend on the private sector, Martín admitted.

After congratulating Senacsa technicians and the entire meat union for the new feat, Agriculture Minister Carlos Giménez ruled out that Paraguayan meat reaching foreign markets would entail an increase in domestic retail prices. “This is also important for the national consumer, the meat that is sent is for industrial use, so it will allow us to have a greater supply of meat here in the country, quite the opposite of what is sometimes thought – that more open markets can raise the price – it is the other way around, this will allow us to have a greater supply,” Giménez said. The Minister also spoke of a “victory of the Government.” Paraguay’s present development “gives us this opportunity to conquer more markets,” he also hoped.