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CPC Draws Attention to COOL's Impact on Independent Producers

by 5m Editor
5 May 2003, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1234. 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

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

Farm-Scape, Episode 1234

The Canadian Pork Council is drawing attention to the impact mandatory country of origin labelling will have on smaller independent US hog producers.

Studies conducted in the US have shown mandatory country of origin labelling will cost American hog producers anywhere from three to 10 dollars per hog.

Canadian Pork Producers Council Executive Director Martin Rice points out COOL will cost the independent producer three times as much as it will cost the fully integrated operations, such as Smithfield, Premium Standard Farms or Seaboard.

"The integrated operations will have the record keeping system to identify an animal that has been born in their operations.

Because they do not have to have any transfer of ownership or any trading going on between a farmer and a packer, their system for record keeping is just that much more simple. If you have independent producers that are selling to one packer, that packer must keep records of all of those different suppliers and each of those different suppliers has to have their own record keeping system.

It's just much more complex, much more information to be collected and much more potential verification and audit costs for the independent value chain there. There's more people involved, more changes in ownership.

There's nothing wrong with that but it just adds a lot of work to a record keeping system that's going to have to be born by those producers."

Rice says the costs of country of origin labelling to the entire food chain have received a lot of attention but there's been little attention paid to the impact it will have on independent producers compared to the birth to slaughter and beyond operations.

He says this is going to be detrimental to the independent aspect of US hog production which is already under some stress.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor