Minimal Impact from Mandatory U.S. COOL Reported

by 5m Editor
8 October 2008, at 10:13am

CANADA - Big Sky Farms reports the introduction of Mandatory U.S. Country of Origin Labelling has had a minimal impact on its ability to move pigs into the United States, writes Bruce Cochrane.

Mandatory U.S. Country of Origin Labelling officially came into effect September 30.

John LaClare, the CEO of Big Sky Farms, one of Canada's largest swine producers, says the factors that are impacting Big Sky's U.S. customers more than COOL right now are the volatility in the corn market and the volatility in the hog futures market.

John LaClare-Big Sky Farms

The introduction of the legislation really hasn't impacted our movement of hogs into the U.S.

We had decided several months ago that we weren't going to move any markets down there.

So what we're moving down now are feeders and isoweans so we haven't seen any direct impact on our movement down there so far.

Right now I think what we're seeing with some of the packers is a great deal of uncertainty in how the regulations as they're finally enacted will impact their individual situation and their marketing plans and programs.

Some of the processors we deal with are quite confident and have maintained a steady position all the way through this.

Other ones seem to be more uncertain about how when things are finally set up it's going to impact them.

LeClare says Big Sky has some good relationships with the American processors it works with and he is quite confident in the company's ability to access U.S. packing plants.

He says there have also been some very encouraging signs in the Canadian processing industry recently including Maple Leaf's decision to double shift its Brandon facility and Olymel's potential to increase slaughter numbers at its Red Deer plant.

5m Editor