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Canadian Pork Industry Still Destabilised by COOL

by 5m Editor
6 January 2009, at 1:11pm

CANADA - The Canadian Pork Council says US Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling remains one of the key issues creating uncertainty for Canadian pork producers, writes Bruce Cochrane.

The Canadian Pork Council has identified US Country of Origin Labelling, world trade discussions and the global financial situation as key issues facing Canada's pork producers heading into 2009.

CPC director Florian Possberg says, while Country of Origin Labelling is now law, the final rules for enforcement have not yet been put forward by the USDA.

Florian Possberg-Canadian Pork Council

If the rules that are written for the enforcement of Country of origin Labelling are such that a number of major packers will continue to source, in our case, Canadian hogs then the business can go forward with some certainty that there's going to be a reasonable market for the hogs at the end of the day.

The ironic thing is that there's probably four million Canadian born hogs in the US art one stage or another of being finished there and these hogs are going to go for slaughter there.

The only question is how big of a discount and how big of a market disruption they're going to cause.

I think there's going to be a business solution to this and it'll be sorted out.

Canada did file a WTO challenge to the Country of Origin Labelling.

Mexico did as well.

I know that there's negotiations at very high levels going on to help sort out and make sure rules that end up being enforced will be ones that allow business to continue to happen with as little disruption as possible.

The challenge is we just don't have those rules yet and the sooner we get them sorted out the better.


Possberg says Canadian producers have built a relationship with the United States and we need to know what the business relationship with the US will be under the new rules.