The lingering effects of the bovine spongiform encephalopathy continue to linger in Canada. Certainly this has been a case study in the devastation that comes to an industry when food-based issues and perception versus reality arise in today's markets.
Remember, in May only a single cow was revealed to have BSE in Canada. Consumers there, generally stood by the industry and continued to consume the country's beef. However, other nations weren't so kind, and exports came to a screeching halt. What's more the market remains closed to our northern neighbors, with Japan especially vocal about their position against Canadian beef.
The Canadian beef industry is losing an estimated $11 million dollars a day, and it has spilled over to other protein products-including pork. Packing and processing plants have laid off workers and ended shifts, or closed down altogether. Prices beef, pork and poultry in Canada are down, and the United States is seeing more market hogs cross the border.
Burger King is offering consumers $1 Whoppers in a show of support for the ailing Canadian beef industry. This follows McDonald's efforts to offer free burgers to consumers in an attempt to light the burden of beef on the market.
Officials with Burger King Canada, reiterated that the stores will meet their commitment to sell only 100 percent Canadian beef by mid-August.
This is all worth noting, and imagining what could happen to the U.S. meat industry if something similar happened here; and this is not just a BSE issue.