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Producers' Plight Warrants Better Income Stabilisation and Short Term Loans

by 5m Editor
28 November 2007, at 9:15am

CANADA - The Canadian Pork Council (CPC) says that federal and provincial governments must understand the immediate need to find solutions for Canada's hog producers and act quickly to provide some financial relief.

Both tiers of government recognise the massive hardship being faced by producers and have been supportive. However, producers are now calling for more help by way of improvements to the current Canadian Agricultural Income Stabilisation (CAIS) program. They'd also like to see short-term loans made available to pig producers and an immediate advance against future CAIS payments.

"The federal and provincial governments need to act immediately to provide our producers with the tools needed to weather this storm, and continue to contribute to our communities and the Canadian economy," he said.

Canada's 11,000 hog producers raise nearly 31 million hogs a year. Of that, more than 50% per cent is exported, principally to the United States and Japan.

"Hog producers are facing a crisis of epic proportions. The soaring value of the Canadian dollar, staggering increases in the price of feed, and falling hog prices threaten to decimate our entire industry," said Mr. Clare Schlegel, President of the Canadian Pork Council.

"The situation is critical," he added. "Producers are seeing unparalleled losses on their farms, due to circumstances that are completely out of their control,"she added.

On-going talks
Members of the Pork Council have had several meetings with federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, senior officials from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and federal Members of Parliament and their provincial counterparts during the past few weeks to discuss survival tactics.

"While helpful, the time has come for action to help Canada's hog producers and their families. Producers need to make important financial decisions now regarding their future," said Schlegel. "They need to know to what extent they will be able to count on their governments to help them transition through this extremely difficult period."

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5m Editor