Canada's Hog Industry Awaiting Federal Help

by 5m Editor
14 January 2008, at 12:14pm

OTTAWA - Canada’s 11,000 hog farmers have called on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to step in to keep the industry alive.

""We call on our government for increased support, as has already happened in other competing countries.""
Clare Schlegel President of the Canadian Pork Council

And they say they are disappointed that he has not yet come forward with any help.

"Hog producers are losing their farms across our great country, not because of their management ability, but because of a chain of events beyond their control, the dollar, the low in the hog cycle, and the huge run-up in feed prices," said Clare Schlegel, a 5th generation Ontario hog farmer and President of the Canadian Pork Council.

Mr. Harper announced plans last week to help communities and workers in other parts of Canada’s traditional industries including forestry and manufacturing but the Federal Government has not yet signaled it is prepared to help one of its first industries – livestock production - according to the CPC.

The CPC said that the Canadian hog industry is among the most modern in the world and exports two out of every three hogs produced in Canada. The industry can compete well even with the ups and downs typical to this industry. But the combination of the high Canadian dollar and soaring feed costs has translated into huge losses for every Canadian farmer.

Mr. Schlegel said hog farmers from coast-to-coast need immediate help through loans – not grants or hand-outs – to survive these coming months.

"The value-added livestock industry is needed in Canada," said Mr. Schlegel.

"We call on our government for increased support, as has already happened in other competing countries."

Each day the government delays increases the likelihood of a Canadian hog farmer being forced out of business because of the crushing costs.

"Canada must not let this industry disappear," said Mr. Schlegel.

The Canadian Pork Council represents Canada’s 11,000 hog producers in nine provinces. The industry raises 31 million hogs a year, employs more than 42,000 people and generates C$7.7 billion a year in economic activity.

5m Editor