Mandatory COOL Expected to Increase Hog Production and Lower Prices

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1368. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.
calendar icon 23 October 2003
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Manitoba Pork Council

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Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork

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Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council
and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1368

The head of the George Morris Centre says there is growing recognition that US Country of Origin Meat Labelling will mean higher hog production and lower prices in North America.

The US House of Representatives and the US Senate appear headed for a showdown over the scheduled fall 2004 implementation of mandatory Country of Origin Labelling.

The House of Representatives has passed an appropriations bill which would deny funding for COOL, but the senate version is expected to contain provisions that would provide funding.

George Morris Centre CEO Dr. Larry Martin says people are beginning to figure out, the biggest impact of COOL in the pork sector will be on the movement of Canadian weanlings.

"It's probably going to curtail or make it very difficult to export our weanling pigs from Canada, which is probably the biggest number that go right now.

Therefor what's going to happen in the longer term is that Canadian producers who have sow barns are going to want to expand their nurseries and or finishing barns.

In the US they've got the finishing barns built because they're buying the weaners so they're going to have to expand their sow herds.

Suddenly people are beginning to realize that this means we're going to have more pork in North America and therefor lower prices for hogs.

There's been a lot of analysis. We've done some at the centre but there's been some done by the American Meat Institute and others.

All of them come pretty much to the same conclusion that, for example, it's going to cost about eight dollars a hog more and three to five dollars a hog more if it's a Canadian hog to go through the system in the US than it does now, with cool.

That means we're going to raise the cost of pork relative to white meat and, in the longer term, it probably means more hogs and lower prices in North America"

Martin says, as those who are going to be impacted come to recognize the impracticality of the system, the opposition to mandatory Country of Origin Labelling builds.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

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