CPC Hopeful for Negotiated Agreement on COOL

by 5m Editor
5 December 2008, at 10:42am

CANADA - The Canadian Pork Council is hopeful formal consultations between the US and Canada over Country of Origin Labelling will result in a workable agreement, writes Bruce Cochrane.

On Monday the federal government officially requested formal consultations with the United States under the World Trade Organization dispute settling mechanism over Country of Origin Labelling.

Canadian Pork Council president Jurgen Preugschas is hopeful the consultations will result in a negotiated agreement that can work.

Jurgen Preugschas-Canadian Pork Council

Just generally, we're looking at an integrated North American market for meat trade, for pork and beef trade.

By implementing a law like the Americans have, that really jeopardizes that integrated trade that we have.

It's affecting producers on both sides of the border, it's affecting packers on both sides of the border and certainly it's going to mean costing more to consumers.

It's unfortunate that the law ever was passed and especially during these economic times, where even by the U.S. government's own admission it's going to cost close to four billion dollars a year to the industry and to consumers.

It just seems ludicrous to me to do this to our consumers in a time of economic turmoil.

Preugschas notes, since October 1, the movement of Canadian slaughter hogs south has dropped to a trickle while the price of Canadian origin weanlings has fallen dramatically compared to the price of U.S. origin weanlings.

He says, with some four million market hogs that Canada had historically shipped annually to the U.S. their plants have to be suffering in terms of less efficiency and we're hearing of empty U.S. feeder barns which had been supplied by Canadian producers.