Swift Government Response Needed by Pork Producers

CANADA - The Canadian Pork Council is calling for quick government action to address the severe challenges facing the Canadian swine industry, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 28 November 2007
clock icon 3 minute read

Over the past few weeks the Canadian Pork Council and its members have met with the federal Agriculture Minister, senior officials from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, federal Members of Parliament and many of their provincial counterparts to discuss what the pork industry needs to survive.

CPC President Clare Schlegel notes a combination of factors, including the soaring value of the Canadian dollar, staggering increases in the price of feed, and falling hog prices resulting from an over supply has created a crisis of epic proportions and pork producers need to know to what extent they'll be able to count on their governments to help them transition through this extremely difficult period.

Clare Schlegel-Canadian Pork Council

Each of the provincial offices have talked with both their deputy ministers and their ministers.

At the national level we've talked to the deputy and to the ministers.

There's a process underway where we certainly feel like the Canadian government and the provincial government's do want to see this industry succeed.

We're reviewing several response possibilities.

Of course the industry has to adapt.

We want to take a look from a government perspective whether there are changes that are required from a regulatory perspective to reduce costs in Canada, on the trade side for instance whether we can get better access to the retail market in Russia and that would provide some market opportunities.

Then, of course, the third discussion that's happening is around business risk management and to see whether the CAIS program can be made to work a whole lot better, a whole lot quicker, and whether there's some additional money through perhaps a loan program that could be distributed quickly to help producers weather this liquidity issue.

Schlegel says, while the pork council applauds the federal and provincial governments' recognition of the severe challenges facing the industry, there's an immediate need to find solutions for Canada's hog producers.

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