Pork Industry Appeals to Canadian Government to Address Competitiveness Issues

OTTAWA - The pork industry is appealing to the federal government to assist in addressing short- and long-term competitiveness issues, in light of staggering challenges currently besieging the pork and processing sectors.
calendar icon 13 April 2007
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A letter submitted earlier this week to Chuck Strahl and other key federal ministers by the Canadian Pork Council (CPC), Canada Pork International (CPI), and the Canadian Meat Council (CMC), underscores the dire situation facing the export-dependent sector, which has taken a pounding from a strong Canadian dollar and a dramatic rise in production input costs, including feed.

"We need government collaboration now," says CPC President Clare Schlegel. "Our industry is not looking for a hand-out, but we do need to work with government to find real solutions, both now and in the future, to drastically improve our ability to compete globally with other pork-exporting countries."

To that end, the industry associations presented the federal government with their recommendations for change in a report entitled, Canadian Pork Value Chain: Strengthening Our Competitiveness, that outlines the sector's short- and long-term challenges, and suggested steps for future success and growth.

"There are five main areas that we are looking at," explains CPI President Edouard Asnong. "They include costs, labour, innovation, risk management, and exports. Each of them is linked, and each must be addressed in order for us to succeed."

The industry's current challenges are well documented. A new report from the George Morris Centre, an independent economic research organization, entitled Canadian Pork Industry Issues and Challenges, cites hog production costs, labour shortages and the appreciation of the Canadian dollar among the factors having the most damaging impacts on the sector. The George Morris Centre report can be viewed at

"There is no question that the pork and hog sector is in a very tenuous state right now," adds Brian Nilsson, President of CMC. "By working closely with the federal government, we can make great gains in addressing the current competitiveness challenges affecting our sector."

The Canadian Pork Council is the national association representing the interests of Canada's hog producers.

Canada Pork International is the export promotion agency of the Canadian pork industry.

The Canadian Meat Council is the national association of federally inspected meat packers and processors.

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