ShapeShapeauthorShapechevroncrossShapeShapeShapeGrouphamburgerhomeGroupmagnifyShapeShapeShaperssShape

US Country of Origin Labelling Expected to Change Canadian Export Patterns

by 5m Editor
20 March 2003, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1203. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

Manitoba Pork Council


Farm-Scape is sponsored by
Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork

Play Audio

Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council
and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1203

A University of Saskatchewan Agricultural Economist predicts substantial changes in Canadian pork and live hog export patterns if the US proceeds with mandatory 'Country of Origin' labelling. Voluntary US country of origin labelling guidelines came into effect in October last year and a mandatory system is due to be implemented in September 2004.

Dr. William Kerr says the Americans are beginning to recognize the enormous costs mandatory country of origin labelling will impose on their own agricultural industry so it remains to be seen whether the provision will proceed but Canada still needs to prepare for a worst case scenario.

"The major impact will be that farmers who have been selling live hogs into the United States are going to find some considerable market resistance to those hogs moving into the United States if the mandatory country of origin labelling does come in in 2004.

What's going to have to happen then is those hogs are probably going to have to be processed in Canada and then that processed product can be labelled 'Product of Canada' and sent to the US.

In the short run there's going sort of too many live hogs in the Canadian market and that's going drive the price down in the short run.

I think what's likely to happen is that we will actually do more processing in Canada and sell more processed product into the United States but, given that there are all these extra costs, the net price farmers receive will be lower."

Dr. Kerr says the real question is whether US country of origin labelling will actually become mandatory.

He says both hog and cattle producers in the US have recognized they'll have to incur additional costs and get no benefits so he is wondering whether the Americans will either extend the voluntary period or even repeal the act.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor