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Local cattle farmers applaud end to decades-long beef restrictions in Japan


Adam and Sydney Trimble are generational cattle farmers in Essex County.

But two years ago, they opened up their own store — direct marketing of their product to local customers.

“We really wanted to just show people what we produce in Ontario, especially when we got involved with Ontario corn, letting us know how much beef is exported out of the province and now we want to kind of show people what we do,” Adam said.

And while the shop does good business — some of that product needs to be exported.

And the market for that just opened back up in a big way — with Japan reopening its doors to processed, ground and beef patties from Canada.

“This is a very important market for Canadian beef products,” said Kim O’Neil, vice president of beef and veal, Canadian Meat Council. “It's our number two export market after the United States. It's a reliable market. It's a reliable partner.”

According to the federal government, beef exports to Japan were already worth $518 million in 2022.

Many partners including the Canadian Beef Council, have been working on removing this final regulatory hurdle for four years.

“Canada beef’s office in Japan has just done an estimate that this is going to this could provide an opportunity for $47 million US dollars into Japan, so that’s a big win for us,” O’Neil said.

The Trimbles see the opportunity to sell more product.

“Having another market to send beef to just increases our price and that just makes it more profitable and sustainable for us,” said Adam.

As the ranks of cattle farmers dwindle in Essex County, the biggest cattle farm in the county is hoping this change can result in growth in the industry.

“We're kind of last few,” Adam said. “So hopefully we'll see it come back more than that, and this is definitely there's definitely light at the end of the tunnel.” Top Stories

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