Cargill's Guelph plant cleared to export to Russia

Approval of Cargill's Guelph operation (Est. 51) will translate into more Canadian beef being sold into the Russian market. A much needed boost for Eastern beef cattle producers, the company has reported.

Company officials confirmed that effective immediately, Russian regulatory authorities have recognized their application for certification. Cargill will now work diligently with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to facilitate the trade of beef and related products.

"This was no different than any of our valued markets; it took some heavy lifting to regain access post BSE. We remained optimistic that with all the collaborative work being done by CFIA, the Canadian Beef Export Federation (CBEF) and the Canadian Embassy in Russia that this day would materialize," stated general manager, Matt Gibney.

Russia is a growing market for beef and Cargill's Guelph operation is already engaging with its local customers, eager to access additional quality supplies of Canadian beef.

Cargill has for some time now been able to supply some Russian demand for beef from its High River, Alberta facility; the company maintained having its Guelph operation approved was critical for Eastern Canadian beef producers.

Federal Minister of Agriculture Gerry Ritz and CFIA president Carole Swan recently returned from Russia and have since confirmed the establishment permanent high level CFIA resources in Russia. This in addition to specifically raising the importance of Cargill's approval for access."

"I want to recognize and thank Minister Ritz for his leadership and efforts given to opening this valuable market," said Cargill Limited president, Len Penner. "Ontario and Quebec beef cattle producers will directly benefit with another export market open for business."

2010 was considered a break-out year for Cargill's beef processing operations in Western Canada. Exports significantly increased over the previous year and company officials say they fully expect to see the same results in the East after today's announcement.

"Our industry has been relentless in delivering beef products that continue to meet or exceed customers' expectations in terms of meat quality and food safety. Last month we announced that Canada was experiencing positive market growth into Japan and now we are proud to announce the same for Russia" says Jeff Cline, Cargill Senior Program Manager, International Sales.

Russia is the world's second largest beef importer, after the US and is a proven market for high quality beef.

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