Canadian Beef

Naturally the Best

What makes Canada one of the world's best beef producers? It's simple: Canada starts with the finest livestock, raised in a clean, natural environment and nourished with feed that produces the best beef available. Canadian ranchers and farmers are conscientious stewards of the land and ensure that their animals are well cared for. Furthermore, Canadian production and processing standards have been rigorously designed with the expectations of international customers in mind. The goal is to make sure customers always receive wholesome, top-quality beef, no matter whether it's fresh, frozen or processed for prepared foods.

Quality and variety

Canada's beef herd is built on British and European continental breeds known for their superior meat quality. Some of the more popular beef breeds in Canada are Angus, Hereford, Charolais and Simmental. These breeds are well-known for their ability to produce well-marbled, tender and flavourful beef.

These breeds also perform particularly well in Canada's temperate climate, which allows producers to raise beef breeds based solely on their ability to produce high quality beef. Competitors in warmer climates have to factor in a breeding trait to resist heat, which significantly affects the quality of the product.

Canada is blessed with millions of acres of wide-open grassland and millions more acres for grain production. Both of these factors contribute to the production of high-quality beef cattle. Canadian cattle finish in feedlots where they receive the optimal amount of grain to produce beef products that consistently meet consumer expectations.

The industry is also developing many value-added products. With trimming, aging, forming and portioning, it can deliver beef cuts and processed beef to customers' exact specifications. Where customers require specialty products such as halal-certified, kosher, natural and organic beef, Canadian beef producers and processors can satisfy that demand.

Healthy and safe

Canadian beef is primarily produced to service the high-quality, grain-fed beef market and offers many advantages to the buyer based on quality and safety attributes.

The Canadian grading system has marbling standards that ensure the highest grades are free from quality deficiencies such as dark cutters, yellow fat cover or poor muscle texture. All these attributes guarantee the highest quality beef eating experience for the consumer and profit potential for the retailer and foodservice client. Canada's national beef grading system is independently verified by an accredited third party, the Canadian Beef Grading Agency (CBGA). Once certified, beef graders are regularly audited by CBGA and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

In addition to providing quality beef to customers, Canadian beef products are among the safest in the world. Food safety is always a top priority for beef producers. Canada's mandatory National Cattle Identification System, animal disease prevention practices and surveillance programs ensure that any potential hazards are minimized. Any problems can be quickly identified and traced to the source for immediate corrective action.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency monitors the entire supply chain to make sure that all products comply with Canada's stringent safety regulations.

Canadian ranchers and farmers take pride in caring for their animals and their land. Their practices are underpinned by an industry code of practices that defines standards of care for cattle handling, feeding, housing, and transportation. Consumers of Canadian beef can feel good knowing that it was “raised right.”

Taste the Canadian difference

Meticulous breeding, careful stock-raising and state-of-the-art processing facilities mean that the taste, quality and satisfaction that comes from Canadian beef is unequalled anywhere. For further information on Canada's beef industry, please visit:

Government websites

Industry websites


Trade Statistics

The following tables represent Canada's total trade in a given export commodity based on Statistics Canada data. The product categories represent HS code groupings and have not been modified. In most cases, statistics have been presented at the 6 or 8 digit level. Statistics are presented in Canadian dollars and are complete through year end 2010.

HS Codes

  • 020110 - Bovine carcasses and half carcasses, fresh or chilled
  • 02012090 - Bovine cuts bone in, nes, fresh or chilled
  • 02013090 - Bovine cuts boneless, nes, fresh or chilled
  • 020210 - Bovine carcasses and half carcasses, frozen
  • 020220 - Bovine cuts bone in, frozen
  • 020230 - Bovine cuts boneless, frozen
  • 020610 - Bovine edible offal, fresh or chilled
  • 020621 - Bovine tongues, edible offal, frozen
  • 020622 - Bovine livers, edible offal, frozen
  • 020629 - Bovine edible offal, frozen nes
  • 021020 - Bovine meat cured
  • 160250 - Bovine meat and meat offal nes, excluding livers, prepared or preserved

Canada's Exports to All Countries ($CAD)
HS 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Growth 2010-2012
Total 1,243,917,602 1,352,830,924 1,260,921,782 1,422,357,694 1,329,405,415 1,208,918,621 -15.0%
2013090 889,116,534 898,405,483 879,375,875 964,191,840 861,853,830 732,928,011 -24.0%
20230 70,420,928 165,765,610 113,162,091 138,155,749 156,365,103 146,176,107 5.8%
2012090 79,397,274 69,086,034 84,020,793 114,886,024 93,935,886 76,950,126 -33.0%
20220 27,257,535 20,216,704 23,038,403 59,539,903 48,891,662 57,441,836 -3.5%
20629 31,120,473 47,484,569 42,708,568 47,622,098 47,050,951 48,951,774 2.8%
20610 65,415,437 65,116,704 53,644,201 40,999,153 64,110,671 77,602,604 89.3%
20110 46,097,309 40,829,707 24,971,013 20,804,018 19,456,154 25,478,191 22.5%
20621 14,612,600 17,878,807 15,594,199 16,436,980 18,832,784 17,480,486 6.3%
20622 5,549,631 8,558,877 5,798,863 5,826,398 6,023,734 7,208,911 23.7%
160250 7,793,722 6,960,129 5,408,782 5,385,899 5,316,290 5,768,839 7.1%
21020 4,168,803 5,150,295 5,145,054 4,976,806 4,750,118 4,941,136 -0.7%
20210 2,967,356 7,378,005 8,053,940 3,532,826 2,818,232 7,990,600 126.2%

Canada's Exports to All Countries (Quantity, KGM)
HS 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Growth 2010-2012
Total 362,552,759 392,989,173 378,524,678 407,514,527 335,486,242 271,044,784 -33.5%
2013090 260,472,637 268,660,211 271,163,285 286,933,827 225,099,340 169,704,036 -40.9%
20230 24,092,392 48,602,965 31,979,772 37,571,815 44,107,477 37,757,429 0.5%
2012090 20,978,382 16,214,586 21,981,833 28,722,691 18,312,861 11,871,111 -58.7%
20220 8,312,491 6,194,484 6,528,313 11,874,803 10,128,879 12,641,919 6.5%
20629 12,553,640 19,029,328 17,786,936 19,484,015 15,508,125 14,342,349 -26.4%
20610 12,166,789 10,301,532 8,927,944 6,853,956 9,350,914 9,564,803 39.6%
20110 7,582,425 6,030,119 3,997,494 3,596,392 3,145,391 3,358,534 -6.6%
20621 3,972,487 4,217,628 3,429,212 3,043,919 3,086,129 3,142,073 3.2%
20622 8,192,236 7,832,403 6,232,719 5,412,519 3,935,001 4,998,242 -7.7%
160250 1,739,192 1,324,049 1,181,724 1,117,233 956,967 1,074,647 -3.8%
21020 1,217,213 1,426,009 1,239,815 1,318,870 1,110,197 1,061,014 -19.6%
20210 1,272,875 3,155,859 4,075,631 1,584,487 744,961 1,528,627 -3.5%

Canada's Monthly Exports to All Countries - (HS Codes 020110, 02012090, 02013090, 020210, 020220, 020230, 020610, 020621, 020622, 020629, 021020, 160250, Value $CAD)
Month 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
January 115,257,439 87,929,634 116,943,974 107,621,955 100,901,780 117,852,010
February 122,799,119 95,910,905 110,119,417 95,302,388 90,617,384 111,637,211
March 133,937,735 106,806,320 118,983,372 125,088,434 105,676,900 125,947,772
April 113,587,059 102,167,361 94,640,767 115,042,804 100,892,016 107,235,216
May 106,101,004 115,425,482 97,678,960 143,983,892 116,172,285 116,299,737
June 104,354,695 118,013,845 106,799,950 137,241,832 110,665,394 113,331,524
July 93,249,766 114,254,747 106,597,072 133,860,227 110,299,754 103,158,885
August 101,445,029 121,448,752 113,130,233 120,426,701 119,411,143 111,637,180
September 95,514,170 122,084,059 101,675,056 112,855,277 121,151,376 90,681,359
October 92,422,756 131,427,168 97,407,671 119,023,952 123,683,508 65,447,266
November 81,538,453 128,103,952 98,391,707 107,273,364 114,836,216 70,387,363
December 83,710,377 109,258,699 98,553,603 104,636,868 115,097,659 75,303,098
TOTAL 1,243,917,602 1,352,830,924 1,260,921,782 1,422,357,694 1,329,405,415 1,208,918,621

Canada's Exports to All Countries by Province - (HS Codes 020110, 02012090, 02013090, 020210, 020220, 020230, 020610, 020621, 020622, 020629, 021020, 160250, Value $CAD)
Province 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Alberta 888,768,843 1,068,768,166 956,960,371 1,051,889,767 969,581,256 852,195,746
British Columbia 2,017,944 8,572,885 3,920,450 5,194,025 3,443,978 3,600,355
Manitoba 55,606 91,686 144,071 244,455 85,589 61,290
New Brunswick 109,617 50 35,729 46,909 302,686 41,213
Newfoundland and Labrador 6,981 0 1,999 1,878 2,320 0
Nova Scotia 9,601 156,778 140,150 407,115 275,711 14,722
Ontario 235,593,941 153,997,231 203,442,906 265,508,181 255,956,489 261,106,973
Prince Edward Island 508,175 87,582 0 0 270,059 47,281
Québec 108,438,719 115,635,766 95,199,614 97,721,105 99,237,802 91,452,849
Saskatchewan 8,408,175 5,520,780 1,076,492 1,344,259 249,476 398,192

Canada's Top 10 Beef Markets - (HS Codes 020110, 02012090, 02013090, 020210, 020220, 020230, 020610, 020621, 020622, 020629, 021020, 160250, Value $CAD)
Country 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Growth 2010-2012
TOTAL: 1,243,917,602 1,352,830,924 1,260,921,782 1,422,025,154 1,329,405,415 1,208,918,621 -14.99%
United States 985,408,073 1,031,530,107 959,874,512 1,029,599,925 956,656,269 875,605,797 -14.96%
Mexico 153,452,320 158,408,004 149,402,715 162,701,114 141,069,066 111,474,294 -31.49%
Hong Kong 31,049,983 34,300,921 35,007,173 75,885,039 91,917,883 78,191,615 3.04%
Japan 26,917,171 40,973,858 58,031,095 81,450,775 66,607,344 74,721,400 -8.26%
Russian Federation 128,834 5,442,763 5,552,190 23,766,783 23,696,120 15,487,841 -34.83%
South Korea 0 5,464 0 41,242 95,669 10,034,809 242.32
China 105,699 0 72,586 12,465 0 4,700,936 376.13
Cuba 678,961 7,226,029 2,074,858 8,896,521 5,225,812 3,484,906 -60.83%
Vietnam 1,180,587 3,301,204 5,505,926 2,949,481 1,199,718 3,425,852 16.15%
Egypt 396,946 167,970 125,810 2,235,372 4,224,242 3,253,992 45.57%