EU exporters face Canadian cheese change

By Neil Merrett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Casein, Milk

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has announced
new cheese composition standards that could significantly
impact dairy imports from the EU and the US.

The new proposals, which will remain under public consultation until August, hope to eliminate current inconsistencies over production standards, and bring uniformity over what ingredients are used. The new measures could require both domestic and foreign dairy processors to amend their operations should to ensure they meet up to the standards. However, the Canadian government stressed that it had taken into account existing international standards and regulations, when devising the reforms. The amended proposals have been put forward under recommendations by the Dairy Industry Working Group, which involves representatives from both the Dairy Processors Association of Canada and the Dairy Farmers of Canada. The announcement followed calls earlier this year for the CFIA to launch a regulatory process on cheese composition, by the country's Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Chuck Strahl. As one of Canada's biggest trading partners, the EU is could be significantly affected by the changes, with 39 per cent of all dairy products entering the country coming from the bloc, according to the Canadian Dairy Commission. Cheese products as well as proteins used within their production have played a large part in this. Primary suppliers of cheese to the country include France, who leads the way supplying an estimated $39.9m worth of speciality cheese in 2005, closely followed by Italy with $32.7m sold. The US by comparison, which is another major producer, saw sales of its specialty cheeses to the country at $7m. Germany is also a significant trader to the industry, with 51 per cent of all casein products -- a protein used in dairy -- imported by Canada, coming from the nation.

Related topics: Regulation & Safety, Cheese

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