Alyn Smith, SNP MEP and member of the European Parliament's powerful Agriculture Committee, has hailed Canada's decision to reopen its market to imports of beef from Scotland.
The Canadian market has been closed to all EU beef since 1996 when Canada introduced import restrictions on the meat of ruminants on the basis of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) concerns.
"This is good news, coming at a particularly opportune moment when farmers are struggling due to the closure of Russian markets and falling prices, and I hope we will see Scotland's quality beef will be on the shelves of Canadian shops very soon.
"Since the BSE crisis nearly 20 years ago, we have worked hard to ensure a safe, clean food chain that our consumers can trust. The step by the Canadians to reopen the market signals that this effort has been recognised, and I hope will act as a nudge to those other countries who have not yet fully reopened their markets."
Nineteen EU member states have now been authorised to resume exports. These are the same that had access to the Canadian market before the BSE ban came into force - Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK.