In­ter­na­tional Beef Al­liance host­ing An­nual Con­fer­ence in Cal­gary

Prairie Post (West Edition) - - Agriculture -

Mem­bers of the In­ter­na­tional Beef Al­liance (IBA), com­pris­ing the cat­tle pro­ducer or­ga­ni­za­tions from Aus­tralia, Brazil, Canada, Mex­ico, New Zealand, and the United States, met in Cal­gary from 16-21 Septem­ber 2018.

The mem­ber­ship of the Al­liance, which also in­cludes Paraguay, ac­counts for over 60% of the world’s traded beef.

With an in­creas­ingly dis­rup­tive global trade en­vi­ron­ment, the Al­liance re­con­firmed its com­mit­ment to trade re­form and lib­er­al­iza­tion, the elim­i­na­tion of tar­iff and non-tar­iff trade bar­ri­ers and the value of fa­cil­i­tat­ing trade.

The mem­ber­ship rec­og­nized the im­por­tance of the rules-based trad­ing sys­tem in cre­at­ing a more level play­ing field for traders and in en­cour­ag­ing the har­mo­niza­tion of rules that are trans­par­ent, sci­ence-based and fa­cil­i­ta­tive.

In this re­spect, the rules-based sys­tem has made a sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion to the pros­per­ity of the global beef value chain by al­low­ing beef pro­duc­ers to sell their prod­ucts to the world. Trade also con­trib­utes to en­sur­ing that con­sumers are able to choose from a range of prod­ucts and price.

IBA mem­bers agreed to work to­gether and with their re­spec­tive gov­ern­ments to sup­port the work of in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions such as the OIE - World Or­ga­ni­za­tion for An­i­mal Health, Codex Ali­men­ta­r­ius (Codex) and the WTO – World Trade Or­ga­ni­za­tion on is­sues of mu­tual in­ter­est in­clud­ing stan­dard set­ting and SPS mea­sures - San­i­tary and Phy­tosan­i­tary Agree­ment for WTO.

Mem­bers also rec­og­nized the po­ten­tial chal­lenges that Brexit may present to the United King­dom (UK) and Eu­ro­pean Union’s (EU) trad­ing part­ners and the con­sid­er­able un­cer­tainty that may re­sult. IBA mem­bers saw Brexit as a po­ten­tial op­por­tu­nity for greater trade lib­er­al­iza­tion and stronger trade re­la­tion­ships.

The IBA strongly en­cour­ages both the UK and EU to un­der­take open con­sul­ta­tions in good faith with all WTO Mem­bers to honor their le­gal obli­ga­tions.

Those IBA Mem­bers who are also party to the Com­pre­hen­sive and Pro­gres­sive Trans Pa­cific Part­ner­ship (CPTPP) wel­comed Mex­ico’s early rat­i­fi­ca­tion thereof and agreed to work to­gether to en­cour­age other CPTPP mem­bers to com­plete their do­mes­tic pro­cesses as soon as pos­si­ble and ide­ally within the 2018 cal­en­dar year.

On non-tar­iff bar­ri­ers (NTBs), the IBA was unan­i­mous in call­ing for al­le­vi­a­tion of un­sci­en­tific and un­jus­ti­fied im­ped­i­ments. Mem­bers agreed to sup­port an ap­proach on NTBs that rec­og­nize their sig­nif­i­cant dis­tor­tionary and costly im­pact on trade and to work col­lec­tively, where ap­pro­pri­ate, in seek­ing to re­move th­ese NTBs.

In ad­di­tion to trade, the IBA is an im­por­tant ve­hi­cle for shar­ing in­for­ma­tion about the chal­lenges and trends fac­ing the global in­dus­try, to en­sure that beef re­mains po­si­tioned as a pre­mium and pre­ferred protein.

IBA’s Young Beef Lead­ers pre­sented on al­ter­na­tive pro­teins fo­cus­ing their dis­cus­sion on reg­u­la­tory is­sues and prod­uct per­cep­tion. Key con­clu­sions were that al­ter­na­tive pro­teins need to be reg­u­lated and la­beled in a truth­ful man­ner.

Fur­ther­more, as pro­duc­ers we need to en­hance our nat­u­ral protein story.

The IBA reaf­firmed the im­por­tance of en­vi­ron­men­tal stew­ard­ship that helps drive prof­itabil­ity and in­tegrity of beef pro­duc­tion.

The IBA Mem­ber­ship looks for­ward to be­ing hosted by Brazil for the 2019 IBA Con­fer­ence.

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