Maple Leaf Calls for Alignment of Canada-US Farm Support Programs

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 2016. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.
calendar icon 6 January 2006
clock icon 3 minute read

Farm-Scape, Episode 2016

An official with Maple Leaf Foods suggests Canadian and American agricultural support programs need to be aligned to help avoid the type of trade irritations that prompted Canada to impose countervail and antidumping duties on US grain corn.

In mid-December, in response to complaints filed by corn growers in Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec, the Canada Border Services Agency imposed provisional duties totaling $1.65 US a bushel on unprocessed grain corn imported from the US.

Maple Leaf senior director of business development for vertical coordination Garry Stott maintains the duties are not good for the Canadian industry and he hopes they'll be short lived.

"I do empathize with the situation that the corn growers, or in fact all feed grain growers, are in not just in eastern Canada but western Canada but this is not the solution.

It just causes more hardship on their neighbors the livestock industry and will certainly increase the costs of finishing not only hogs in Canada but all livestock so this is not the answer.

I hope it's short lived. In the long term we have to look at this industry for what it is and it is an integrated North American industry. Certainly I think the issues that have brought this corn countervail on is the fact that our agricultural support programs are not aligned.

In other words there at different levels in the US than they are in Canada and I guess the corn growers are feeling they're at a competitive disadvantage so, what we're going to have to do is align our programs, align our industries on both sides of the border."

Stott says, long term, despite the duties, Maple Leaf and its subsidiary Elite Swine remain committed to finishing out more of the hogs that are presently being farrowed in Canada.

He says that's certainly the mandate and the company intends to stay the course on that.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

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