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Japan's Ban on US Beef Expected to Alter Pork Consumption Patterns

by 5m Editor
12 January 2004, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1422. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

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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 1422

Canada Pork International expects international bans on US beef to have a substantial influence on the movement of North American pork.

In the wake of the announcement that a cow on a Washington State dairy farm had been confirmed infected with BSE 30 nations, key among them Japan, Mexico and Russia, banned the import of US beef.

Canada Pork International Executive Director Jacques Pomerleau says it'll take about until the end of the month for the impact of these bans to become clear but they can be expected to alter pork consumption patterns internationally as well as domestically.

"What is not very clear is how long the US beef will be prevented from being exported and that has a big impact.

The more beef that remains in North America, the more difficult it will be for pork to increase its market share and it means we'll have to export more pork.

The other unknown is really if and when Japan will reopen the market to US beef. The impact is not direct. It's an indirect impact.

Right now our sales in Japan, especially of chilled pork, have been declining because the beef consumption has been resuming in Japan.

Now, with less beef available in the Japanese market, will it mean that there will be more pork consumed in Japan?

That's what we need to know but it would be difficult to find out that at least for the next couple of weeks".

Pomerleau says Japan's apparent unwillingness to consider lifting its ban on American beef, unless the US adopts Japanese standards for safeguarding the product, is key.

He says other nations might also use Japan's position as a pretense to keep their markets closed to the US.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor