Mandatory COOL Accelerates Need for Expanded Canadian Hog Slaughter Capacity

CANADA - The chair of Manitoba Pork Council says, the sooner hog slaughtering capacity can be expanded in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, the better it will be for the entire Canadian hog industry, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 29 August 2007
clock icon 3 minute read

Restructuring by Canada's two major meat processors has resulted in an overall reduction of Canadian hog slaughtering capacity causing larger numbers of Canadian hogs to be diverted into the U.S. for slaughter.

With fears that US Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling, expected to take effect September 30, 2008, will cause American processors to refuse Canadian slaughter hogs or discount the price of those hogs, Canadian slaughter capacity has become a key concern.

Manitoba Pork Council chair Karl Kynoch says Country of Origin Labelling makes efforts in both Manitoba and Saskatchewan to bring new slaughter capacity on line become more important.

Karl Kynoch-Manitoba Pork Council

Definitely the Country of Origin Labelling has accelerated the need for packing capacity here because, at the same time, we've also lost a little bit of capacity in Canada.

But I know that the Country of Origin Labelling is definitely going to coming into place before we can have a new plant up and running for if we were to have a plant running in time for September '08 it would have to be under construction already and we haven't started anything.

But the sooner we can make that happen and show our American counterparts that we are working toward expanding our slaughter capacity it will reduce a lot of the concern about hogs going south and future trade cases and this sort of thing.

The relations between Canada and the U.S. are very good right now.

We've been working the last two and a half to three years on trade advocacy with our American counterparts and that's gone a long way to better understanding each other's industry on how much we are so alike and that we're actually working on a world market and we need to compete together as a North American market.

So I would say relations are going very well between Canada and the U.S.

Kynoch suggests anytime we put any capacity within hauling distance of any producer, whether that be an American producer or a Canadian producer, it's definitely a positive for the entire North American industry.

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