Russia to resume Canadian pork imports

Russia’s two-month ban on imports of Canadian pork will be lifted as Canada upgrades the security of its export documents, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said Tuesday.

Russia closed its ports of entry to Canadian pork on April 1 this year because of concerns about “fraudulent export documents,” Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada said in a release.

The government has “swiftly” addressed those concerns by having the Canadian Food Inspection Agency increase the security features on certificates, AAFC said.

Exports of Canadian pork to Russia in 2007 had totalled $144.8 million, making it Canada’s third largest pork market, according to the federal ag department.

According to the Canadian Pork Council’s Martin Rice, quoted last month by Resource News International, Canadian pork shipments to Russia during the first two months of 2008 totalled 17,000 tonnes, compared to 15,000 in the year-earlier period. Total shipments of Canadian pork to Russia in 2007 were 90,000 tonnes.

“Russia is a key market for Canadian pork, and I would like to thank my counterpart, Alexey Gordeyev, minister of agriculture of the Russian Federation, for working with me to resolve this issue,” Ritz said in AAFC’s release.

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