Strenthening of Relationships Encouraged

by 5m Editor
30 October 2008, at 9:07am

CANADA - Phoenix Agritec is advising its clients to keep their options open and to work to strengthen their relationships with Canadian packing plants in the wake of the introduction of US Country of Origin Labelling, writes Bruce Cochrane.

Mandatory US Country of Origin Labelling came into effect September 30, prompting several American packers to announce they would no longer kill Canadian origin pigs.

Phoenix Agritec, which represents hog producers across western Canada and the northern US, has been exporting Canadian slaughter animals for about ten years.

Merchandising manager David Hamblin says the abrupt decision by John Morel in Sioux Falls, which had been the biggest importer of Canadian pigs, to stop accepting those animals as of September 30 has made it difficult to find homes for those pigs but there have been options.

David Hamblin-Phoenix Agritec

There's a little bit of a scatter, I think, in a lot of different directions.

Maple Leaf in Brandon has been successful in increasing their kills and extending their double shift so Maple Leaf has been able to handle a lot of these pigs.

There's some pigs moving west into some of the other packers that have been short for some time.

Other than that there's just some of the smaller second tier packers in the states that are taking the pigs and it's just a matter of trying to keep the prices as competitive as possible.

Realistically the number of pigs coming to market is going to have a big impact, I think, on how packers choose to deal with it.

Hamblin says encourages producers to keep their options open and to work to build relations with their Canadian packers.

He suggests, while we do need some American options, the success of the Canadian swine industry is dependent on the success of the Canadian packing industry and the Canadian packing industry has been strengthening recently.

5m Editor