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Quality Based Pork Grading System Would Benefit Canada's Pork Market

22 July 2016
Manitoba Pork Council


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CANADA - Canada Pork International says creation of a pork quality based grading system, modeled after what already exists in the beef industry, will ensure the right product is selected for right market and give Canadian pork an edge with international buyers, writes Bruce Cochrane.

Canada is a leader in the export pork world, accounting for about 17 percent of all global pork exports.

Canada Pork International, in partnership with Swine Innovation Porc, is working on the development of new tools designed to improve Canada's competitiveness in the global pork market.

Michael Young, the Vice President Technical Programs and Marketing Services with Canada Pork International, recalls 2012 saw the creation of a Canadian Pork Quality Standard, which includes standards for meat color, marbling ratios and fat color and the next step will be to develop a quality based grading system that would reduce inconsistencies in quality selection and move the right product into the right market.

Michael Young-Canada Pork International:

Fundamentally what we're seeing is the segments now are becoming a little more pronounced.

Further processors, they want lean products that don't have as much marbling so to speak.

Retailers would like something that has a little more marbling so that there's more flavor and the food service operators, of course, they would like more heavily marbled products because that's where the flavor is.

We're seeing an opportunity for different grades of pork for different markets, similar to the way the beef industry has gone with their grading system.

These are the concepts that we're talking about for future tools so that we can differentiate our products in all markets.

Young says consistency of the quality is critical for our end user partners.

He says he is not aware of any meat quality based grading system for pork anywhere in the world, so creating such as system would allow Canada to take the lead as an innovator, be first with a meat quality based selection system and allow packers to move the right products into the right markets.

ThePigSite News Desk

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