|Canadian beef producers would work with the food services segment and retailers in Viet Nam to promote products as well as study customers' tastes. — Photo financialpost.com
HCM CITY (VNS) — Canadian Minister of Agriculture and Agrifood Gerry Ritz yesterday said the Vietnamese market held great potential for the import of high-quality, flavourful Canadian beef.
Speaking at a press conference in HCM City, Canadian Minister of Agriculture and Agrifood Gerry Ritz said: "Canadian production and processing standards have been rigorously designed to ensure health and safety of our beef products. Our top priority is to make sure our customers always receive wholesome, top-quality beef."
Ritz is leading an agricultural trade mission to Viet Nam, South Korea and Japan to promote a variety of Canadian agricultural products, including safe, high-quality beef.
Last year, Canada's beef industry had total export value of over US$1.9 billion.
Asia has become one of its priority markets, with Viet Nam ranked as a market with high potential, he said.
Jack Hextall, chairman of Canada Beef, which is responsible for domestic and international beef and veal market development, said that Canada was a world leader in feed-grain production, including barley, wheat and corn.
Rob Meijer, president of Canada Beef, said initially Canada's organization and businesses would work with the food services segment and retailers in Viet Nam to promote products as well as study customers' tastes.
Canada is committed to serving the needs of the Vietnamese market and to supplying safe, high-quality food products, Ritz said.
The Animal Husbandry Association of Viet Nam said the number of cows raised in Viet Nam had fallen from 6.7 million in 2007 to 5.23 million heads last year.
Domestic cow production meets only 75-76 per cent of local demand.
To satisfy demand, the country had to import a large volume of beef and cows from other countries, Nguyen Dang Vang, the association's chairman, said.
Cow and beef imports in recent years have increased strongly, with more than 250,000 live cows and 26,000 tonnes of beef and buffalo meat imported last year.
Demand for beef is expected to increase while there will be few changes in production since the country does not have advantageous conditions for raising cows on large-scale farms.
The country expects to import a similar volume of live cows and beef this year to satisfy domestic consumption.
The event was organised by the Canada Beef International Institute and the Embassy of Canada in Viet Nam. — VNS