M-COOL Expected to Reduce U.S. Options for Slaughtering Canadian Hogs

CANADA - The Chairman of the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board fears Mandatory U.S., writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 27 August 2007
clock icon 3 minute read

Country of Origin Labelling could eliminate American pork processors as an option for slaughtering Canadian market hogs.

A revised version of Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling, contained in the 2007 version of the U.S. Farm Bill passed by the House of Representatives, is expected to take effect September 30, 2008.

Under the provision only meat from hogs born, raised and slaughtered in the U.S. would qualify to be labelled as originating in the U.S.

Since the closure of the Mitchell's Gourmet Foods primary processing plant in Saskatoon, Rosetown area producer and Sask Pork Chair Joe Kleinsasser has been shipping market hogs south for slaughter but he fears the added cost of processing Canadian hogs as a result of Mandatory COOL will end access to that market.

Joe Kleinsasser-Saskatchewan Pork Development Board

It could be that the plants aren't even going to bother with market pigs so that's the situation we're looking at.

We're right now going to Hormel in Austin, Minnesota with our pigs, are doing quite well actually.

We're pretty close, after freight, to what we would get from Maple Leaf so I'm quite happy with that but we've got a ten month contract with Phoenix AgriTech who's marketing our pigs to Hormel and, in that contract, it specifically states that he is not responsible for trade action or events like country of origin labelling.

So even the brokers are taking a wait and see stand, not guaranteeing anything.

Our concern is, where will we be after our contract ends and cool goes into effect by the fall of 2008?

Kleinsasser says, right now, his operation is happy going through Hormel and would continue to be happy going there if it wasn't for Country of Origin Labeling.

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