CANADA - The Executive Director of the Canadian Pork Council says Canada's ability to verify the steps taken on the farm to ensure the quality and safety of Canadian pork and the care given to the animals that produce that pork is an import component of Canada's ability to compete in Japan.
In early July representatives of Canada Pork International and the Canadian Pork Council introduced the Canadian Pork Excellence Program, Canada's new on farm food safety and animal welfare assurance program, to Japanese government officials and meat trade participants in Tokyo.
Canadian Pork Council Executive Director John Ross says Japan is a very competitive market and, while the usual world exporters are trying to get into that market, Canada's primary competitor is the United States.
John Ross-Canadian Pork Council:
The advantage that we have with the Canadian Pork Excellence Program is that we can verify to our Japanese buyers how we handle our hogs on the farm and we can show that to them in a comprehensive national approach. How it's supported, there was the foundation of, we like to call it Canadian Verified Pork.
Verified Canadian Pork is the generic brand for Canadian pork in the market place and CPE, Canadian Pork Excellence Program provides part of the foundation for that brand.
The Japanese buyers, the Japanese meat trade was quite interested I think in how we talked about and how we do and how we verify all the things we do on farm here in Canada to make sure that those hogs that go into processing are of the highest quality.
You can't make good quality pork out of poor hogs.
It just doesn't work that way and the fact that in Canada we take so much time and effort to produce these high quality animals, it comes through in the pork and that's certainly well appreciated in the Japanese market.
Mr Ross says Canadian pork processors and pork marketers need to be prepared to compete in Japan every day all day with American suppliers.
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