FCC Defends Swine Industry Loan Programs

by 5m Editor
13 April 2004, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1491. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

Manitoba Pork Council

Farm-Scape is sponsored by
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 1491

Farm Credit Canada is defending the loan programs it offers to Canadian hog farmers as non-trade distorting commercial products that offer greater flexibility.

Trade action initiated by US hog producers against the import of Canadian live hogs identifies two Farm Credit Canada loan programs as trade distorting subsidies.

The enviroloan was developed to help finance environmental facilities while the flexi-hog loan, now called the flexi-farm loan, was designed to allow greater flexibility in repaying principle. FCC Vice President Marketing and Portfolio Management Lyndon Carlson says neither program is subsidized.

"These two products help producers to help themselves. In other words, we are building these products and others like them to allow farmers added flexibility when dealing with their debt servicing requirements. Flexibility is the key. It's not a subsidy in any way.

We watch the interest rate market on a weekly basis and Farm Credit prices its products on or about competitive prices according to what the private sector lenders are doing at the same time. Our interest rates are competitive but they're not subsidized in any way. We continue to try to develop products, through feedback from farmers, so we can ensure products we deliver are suiting the needs of our single customer and that's farmers across Canada. Our focus is very clearly on agriculture and clearly we try to establish products that are in response to customer needs.

We are not subsidized in any way by the government. We borrow our money on the open market. We return our investment back into agriculture and so it's appropriate to for us to be responsive to customer needs and these products and others like them are in response to that and, in no way, are trade distorting."

Carlson says FCC is working with Agriculture and Agrifood Canada to prepare a formal response, in the event the US challenge proceeds. He says much of the necessary documentation has already been compiled.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor