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Study Shows COOL's Potential to Disrupt Canada-US Pork Production Patterns

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

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1241. 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 1241

A joint Canada US study has shown country of origin labelling has the potential to dramatically shift the manner in which hogs are produced in North America.

One of the main concerns with the introduction of mandatory country of origin labeling is it's potential to disrupt the flow of Canadian weaner and feeder pigs into the US.

A study conducted by the George Morris Centre in partnership with Virginia Tech University explored the impact disrupting the flow of some six million Canadian pig south would have on the US industry.

George Morris Centre Senior Market Analyst Kevin Grier says Canada, particularly Manitoba and Ontario, is a very effective producer of weaner pigs and in Iowa they are very effective finishers so pigs go south for rational economic reasons.

"In a nutshell, what country of origin labelling will do, if it restricts the flow of pigs going south, it will jeopardize the livelihoods of at least one thousand typical US producers.

It will increase the production from the large integrated operations. A handful of the large pork powerhouses so to speak would end up replacing a thousand or more independent producers.

If six million pigs don't go south then there's going to be a loss of packing capacity in the United States and it will jeopardize about four or five plants. After that it will also result in lower prices than there would have been without country of origin labelling."

Grier says, as the large integrated operators move in to fill the void in weaner pig production in the US and Canada expands finisher barn capacity to accommodate the weaner pigs no longer moving south, total North American pork production can be expected to increase. He expects a net increase of about four million pigs after three years or so.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor