Canada-US Pork Industry Relations Strong

CANADA - The chairman of Manitoba Pork Council says, despite the problems being created by Country of Origin Labelling, the relationship between Canadian and American hog producers remains strong, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 8 December 2008
clock icon 3 minute read

Last week the federal government officially requested formal consultations with the United States under the World Trade Organization dispute settling process over Country of Origin Labelling.

As a result of the new US food labelling laws, several American pork processors have stopped accepting Canadian origin pigs.

Manitoba Pork Council Chairman Karl Kynoch says a great deal of effort has gone into building an integrated Canadian and US pork industry and Country of Origin Labelling threatens to undermine that effort.

Karl Kynoch-Manitoba Pork Council

The relationship between the producers on both sides of the border, this hasn't strained that at all.

I think it's probably brought out more of the importance of needing to continue to work together and some producers have probably found out some of the benefits that were there that maybe they didn't realize before.

Again, I think when we have to go through these battles it probably brings the producers even closer together.

There's a lot of producers in the US that have always been opposed to COOL.

It's restricted their access to a very high health weanling and pigs that they had access to and again it's restricted the packer access to a lot of the animals direct for slaughter and that.

I would say industry, it's brought us a lot closer together and hopefully going forward that governments will try to work together to resolve some of this.

Kynoch considers Ottawa's request for formal consultations over the issue through the WTO dispute setting process to be significant.

He says Country of Origin Labelling has created problems on both sides of the border forcing the closure of barns in Canada and the US.

He believes the American government needs to recognize it's new labelling laws are trade restrictive and look at changes that will make the legislation more workable.

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