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Canada, Russia to meet on pork barriers

(Resource News International) — Canadian and Russian officials will meet this week in attempt to restore the shipments of Canadian pork to Russia, an official with the Canadian Pork Council said.

“Canadian pork shipments to Russia were halted on March 31, 2008 when the agreement template for the issuance of import licenses terminated between the two countries,” said Martin Rice, an executive director with the Canadian Pork Council.

Rice said Carole Swan, president of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), along with a Canadian delegation, will go to Moscow this week to meet with high-ranking Russian officials.

“From discussions with Ms. Swan, she is very optimistic that a new agreement template will be put into place that will allow Canadian shipments of pork to resume to Russia,” Rice said.

The pork council was hopeful the agreement will be implemented very quickly.

A new agreement template has been in place for a number of months, but the delay in finalizing the pact was linked to the placement of new high-ranking Russian officials who wanted to review the process,” Rice said.

Upon approving the template, the issuance of export certificates for the Canadian pork can once again resume, Rice said noting that “without the certificates, the Canadian pork cannot enter Russia.”

Canadian pork shipments to Russia during the first two months of calendar 2008 totalled 17,000 tonnes, Rice said, compared to 15,000 in the year-earlier period. Total shipments of Canadian pork to Russia during all of 2007 totalled 90,000 tonnes.

Rice said the Canadian pork shipments consisted of a variety of cuts, but have been mostly made up of organ meats.

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