The visit was organised by the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and the Department of International Trade to increase the presence of British beef and lamb on the Canadian market.
The group was given a tour of four major beef processing plants as well as a lamb processing plant, a beef farm featuring British native breeds and a number of food stores and supermarkets.
Jean-Pierre Garnier, AHDB head of livestock export trade development, said: “Our Canadian guests were happily surprised by the high standards in British meat plants and the beef processing technology applied there.
“This important visit is a major step towards increasing our presence on the Canadian market with the Canada-Europe Comprehensive Trade Agreement (CETA) soon in operation, which will eliminate quotas and tariffs for EU beef.
“Canada is, of course, a major beef producer and exporter. However, they are interested in some specific cuts and offal and we are already selling good volumes to Ontario and Quebec. In addition, we are progressing with some lamb marketing projects in the two Canadian provinces. Canada imports more than half the lamb consumed there.
“In short, this successful visit bodes well for the development of British beef and lamb on the Canadian market.”
The UK has been working hard to establish export relationships with other countries. Japanese delegates visited the country to assess beef controls recently and, in August, the UK agreed a £34 million trade deal with the Philippines.
Canada is no slouch in the export game either, according to the Canadian Meat Council, the country’s exports of beef have risen from 100,000 tonnes (t) in 1990 to almost 322,000t, valued at $2.2 billion, in 2015. Exports of pork have increased from 200,000t in 1990 to 1,171,000t, valued at $3.42bn, in 2015.