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Market Access

We are unwavering in our dedication to enhancing market access, trade, and promotion for our sheep industry, expanding our domain and seizing transboundary opportunities.

At the Canadian Sheep Federation (CSF), we recognize that market access and trade are critical issues that directly impact the success and sustainability of our sheep farmers. As an organization representing the collective interests of the Canadian sheep industry, we are fully committed to tackling the challenges and maximizing the opportunities in these areas.

Why do we consider market access and trade to be such critical issues? The answer lies in the significant benefits they bring to our sheep farmers. By opening doors to new markets and expanding existing ones, we create opportunities for increased sales, higher demand for our products, and ultimately, improved profitability for our farmers. Access to international markets allows us to showcase the exceptional quality of Canadian sheep products to consumers around the world, establishing our reputation as a trusted and preferred source.

However, achieving and maintaining market access is not without its challenges. We recognize the complex web of regulations, trade barriers, and certifications that can hinder the smooth flow of our products across borders. Despite the exceptional quality of our sheep products, the absence of trade agreements or preferential trade arrangements with certain countries restricts our export potential. Navigating these obstacles requires a strategic and collaborative approach. That's where we step in. As the unified voice of the Canadian sheep industry, we actively engage with government agencies, industry stakeholders, and regulatory bodies to advocate for policies and regulations that support market access and trade. We work tirelessly to break down barriers, resolve trade disputes, and promote fair and equitable trade practices that benefit our farmers.

Another key aspect of our efforts is promoting Canadian sheep products both domestically and internationally. We firmly believe in the power of effective marketing and promotion to drive consumer awareness, demand, and preference for our products. Through our work with AgroLedger to connect consumers with the producers and processors that supply their sheep and lamb, we can support our industry in differentiating Canadian products in the marketplace.

We have taken significant initiatives to improve market access. Internationally, we worked diligently to lift restrictions on Canadian exports of breeding stock to the United States, which had been in place since 2005. Following the change in U.S. regulations in December 2021, the CSF collaborated with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to secure necessary export certificates, establish accreditation for export certifying veterinarians, address initial export permit issues, and negotiate certificates for cross-transit shipments through the U.S. to Mexico. Additionally, export certificates for breeding stock to Kenya were finalized in 2022, and efforts commenced to obtain certificates for Ecuador, Cuba, and Peru.

On the domestic front, we continue to work towards the elimination of inter-provincial trade barriers.  Between our participation in the revitalized Food Advisory Committee launched by the CFIA in 2022, and raising the issue at the Animal Protein Working Group levels, we feel progress is being made. We were pleased to see CFIA develop a domestic comparability assessment tool (DCAT) for provincial-territorial governments to assess their food safety systems against the federal system.  This is meant to help identify points of comparability and areas that may require modification in provincial systems in order to meet a level of equivalency that would allow interprovincial movement of provincially inspected meat. Saskatchewan has completed their assessment using DCAT, and similar activities are underway in Alberta and Manitoba. To further inform the discussion, the CSF partnered with Clarkson and Temple Universities to conduct comprehensive comparative environmental impact analyses of our current supply chain to a model of regional processing. These analysis provide insight into decisions regarding regional processing capacity by comparing the environmental effects of transporting animals long distances for processing versus establishing more localized processing capacity. The findings of these analyses confirmed that improving regional processing infrastructure and eliminating inter-provincial trade barriers would help the sector reduce GHG emissions by 11.85%. These initiatives reflect the CSF's commitment to expanding market access opportunities and promoting sustainable practices in the Canadian sheep industry.

As an organization dedicated to the well-being of our sheep farmers, we are resolute in our pursuit of improved market access and trade facilitation. We understand that the success of our farmers is intricately linked to their ability to access global markets, compete effectively, and capture consumer demand. By fostering collaboration, advocating for favorable trade policies, and promoting our exceptional Canadian sheep products, we strive to create a thriving and sustainable industry that benefits our farmers, their communities, and the nation as a whole.

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