UFCW Canada welcomes resumption of Canadian pork and beef exports to China

Toronto – November 5, 2019 – The United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW Canada), Canada’s food workers’ union, welcomes China’s decision to lift its ban on imports of Canadian pork and beef.

China imposed the ban in June after customs inspectors there found traces of a prohibited animal feed additive in a shipment of pork that claimed to be from Canada. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency later revealed that the export certificate for the shipment was fake, indicating the pork was not actually from Canada. However, despite this finding, the Chinese government kept its ban on Canadian pork and beef products in place. 

“UFCW Canada welcomes the resumption of pork and beef exports to China, and our union would like to thank everyone – particularly UFCW Canada members working in meat processing facilities, as well as the Government of Canada and the Canadian meat industry – who worked hard to bring this issue to a resolve,” says Paul Meinema, the national president of UFCW Canada.

“As the second-largest market for Canadian pork products, and the fifth-largest importer of Canadian beef products, the Chinese market is critical to Canada’s red meat industry, and hundreds of thousands of hard-working men and women rely on this safe and world-leading industry to provide for their families and put food on the table,” the UFCW leader adds. “Our union is therefore relieved to see China do the right thing by lifting its ban on Canadian pork and beef imports.”

While today’s news is positive, UFCW Canada will continue to press the government for proactive measures and strategies that better protect meat and food manufacturing workers who are vulnerable to international markets and trade decisions beyond their control.

Representing over 40,000 workers in the Canadian food manufacturing sector, and more than 250,000 members across the country, UFCW Canada is the union for workers in the meat industry.