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COOL Impact May Become Apparent Over Next 6 Months

by 5m Editor
2 October 2008, at 2:59pm

CANADA - The Saskatchewan Pork Development Board expects the effect of US mandatory Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) on the Canadian swine industry to become apparent over the next six months, writes Bruce Cochrane.

Effective September 30, US Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling was officially expanded to include muscle cuts and ground beef, veal, lamb, chicken, goat, and pork; perishable agricultural commodities, including fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables; macadamia nuts; pecans; ginseng; and peanuts.

Sask Pork general manager, Neil Ketilson, says US packing plants are deciding now what labeling options they will decide to use.

Neil Ketilson-Saskatchewan Pork Development Board

If they go strictly with the first label, that would be strictly U.S. born, raised and slaughtered, that would effectively eliminate that plant for Canadian production.

The alternative is to have Canadian born, U.S. fed and slaughtered which really applies to the isowean market right across Canada but particularly important to Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

For those plants that choose to go that way it's business as usual.

From what we hear on a broad basis if you will, there are some plants that have decided to go strictly U.S.

The slaughter market out of Canada into the United States is virtually drying up and so that will likely cease to be a good option for us in Canada here.

But there are a number of companies and plants that are still going to go with a phase two label which means that the isoweans out of Canada going into the United States to be fed and slaughtered will still have a place in the U.S. market.

Mr Ketilson remains hopeful there will be a market for Canadian born hogs but he acknowledges things are changing daily.

He notes there is a six-month education process until enforcement begins so the next six months will tell us a lot in terms of future direction.

5m Editor