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CPC Responds to Statement Issued by NPPC

by 5m Editor
28 July 2009, at 10:46am

CANADA - The Canadian Pork Council takes serious issue with the statement issued last week by the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) regarding Canadian pork farmers. The Canadian hog industry has and continues to adjust to market signals.

The NPPC’s suggestion that Canadian actions will negatively affect US prices is galling. "On the contrary, Canadian pig prices have been in large part artificially depressed by such things as US Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) rules," says Jurgen Preugschas, Chair of the Canadian Pork Council. "Many former US customers for Canadian pigs and pork have ceased purchasing our products due to the burden COOL has created for food handlers in the United States. Live hog exports from Canada to the United States, since COOL became mandatory, have declined sharply. Fully 36 per cent fewer hogs have been exported to the United States this year compared to last."

For many years, both Canada and the United States have benefited from free trade in hogs and pork products. An open border has supported greater efficiency and provided jobs all along the supply chain in our two countries. Both the hog and pork sectors operate in and benefit from a North American market. CPC will continue to work closely with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and will continue to respect our working relationships with the international community.

"The past three years have been very trying for hog producers in Canada," says Mr Preugschas. "Dramatic adjustments to Canada’s productive capacity have already taken place and the NPPC knows this."

The Canadian sow herd has declined 6 per cent this year compared to last and nearly 12 per cent since 2007. The US breeding herd has decreased by less than 4 per cent over these past two years, or only a third of the cut experienced in Canada. "The fact that US production is not declining faster, despite suffering losses averaging $21 per pig since October 2007 according to the NPPC statement, is, frankly, quite surprising and disappointing," added Mr Preugschas who raises breeding stock and finishes pigs at his farm in Mayerthorpe, Alberta.

Further Reading

- Go to the NPPC statement related to this story by clicking here.