The Canadian Pork Council takes serious issue with the statement issued last week by the National Pork Producers Council regarding Canadian pork farmers. (See NPPC's statement) The Canadian hog industry has and continues to adjust to market signals.
The NPPC’s suggestion that Canadian actions will negatively affect U.S. prices is galling. "On the contrary, Canadian pig prices have been in large part artificially depressed by such things as U.S. Country of Origin Labeling rules,” says Jurgen Preugschas, Chair of the Canadian Pork Council. “Many former U.S. 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.
Since COOL became mandatory, live hog exports from Canada to the United States have declined sharply. Fully 36 percent 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 Preugschas. “Dramatic adjustments to Canada’s productive capacity have already taken place and the NPPC knows this.”
The Canadian sow herd has declined 6 percent this year compared to last and nearly 12 percent since 2007. The U.S. breeding herd has decreased by less than 4 percent over these past two years, or only a third of the cut experienced in Canada. "The fact that U.S. 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 Preugschas who raises breeding stock and finishes pigs at his farm in Mayerthorpe, Alberta.
The CPC serves as the national voice for hog producers in Canada. A federation of nine provincial pork industry associations, our organization’s purpose is to play a leadership role in achieving and maintaining a dynamic and prosperous Canadian pork sector.
Source: Canadian Pork Council