Canadian Producers Step Up Action for Government Loans

CANADA - The Canadian Pork Council is stepping up its call for short term government loans to allow Canadian hog producers to ride to out the worst industry crisis in 30 years, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 13 December 2007
clock icon 3 minute read

Canadian hog producers faced with skyrocketing feed costs, a rising Canadian dollar and an over supply of pork have requested short term loans and improved safety nets to help them through the storm.

Canadian Pork Council president Clare Schlegel told a news conference yesterday the long term outlook for pork is positive but producers need support now.

Clare Schlegel-Canadian Pork Council

While Canadian hog producers have always prided themselves on our ability to adapt and change with the times to remain competitive, these changes have come too quickly for us to be able to adapt over night.

Unlike the automotive industry we work with living breathing raw materials.

We can not make snap or irrational business decisions.

We can not just turn on a dime at a moment's notice when prices plummet and the Canadian dollar spikes.

And now, as Canadian hog producers, we find ourselves in a position where we need the assistance of the federal and provincial governments to grant us short term repayable loans.

These loans are crucial to help us bridge the gap between the difficult times we are now seeing and the foreseeable future when the world demand for pork is forecasted to grow.

We can be competitive but we need to still be in the game when these future markets grow and develop.

Emergency loans will keep us in the game.

We have asked for these loans but there has been no response to date, at least no positive response.

That is why today we are asking for the answer.

Do governments see a future for hog production in Canada?

We sure hope they do.

The Harper government was put in place by a strong rural voice in the last election and Canadian hog producers are a significant part of that voice.

We need the government of Canada and the provincial governments to stand up for hog farmers now.

It is time for governments to show us they care about our future and we ask for them to do it now, before it's too late.

Schlegel stresses the urgency of the situation can't be over stated and, producers need to know what governments can do so they can make their own business decisions.

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