Market Place Expected to Provide COOL Solution

CANADA - A director with the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board is convinced the market place will ultimately provide the solution to concerns related to Country of Origin Labelling, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 9 December 2008
clock icon 3 minute read

Last week Ottawa requested formal consultations with the United States through the World Trade Organization dispute setting mechanism over Country of Origin Labelling.

Florian Possberg, a director with the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board, the Canadian Pork Council and Canada Pork International says Ottawa's request is really stating the obvious, that Country of Origin Labelling is not about food safety, it's about protectionism and goes against the spirit of the WTO and the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Florian Possberg-Saskatchewan Pork Development Board

I think, at the end of the day, this Country of Origin Labelling thing, the market will work out a solution and there will be packers that will use Canadian born hogs and profit from that business because it is a good business.

I think the feed grain we have here, the open spaces, the water we have makes this a very productive place on the planet to produce pork and other meats as well.

Long term I'm confident that there'll be a significant industry in our province and our region.

Short term though the uncertainty created around the market difficulties we've had plus this country of origin just means that our producers are going through a very stressful time.

Possberg says Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario have been hit the hardest by the new US labelling laws.

He notes, for regions like Quebec that don't export live hogs, it's business as usual but Ontario has a significant trade with the US and Saskatchewan has shipped more hogs south since the loss of its slaughter plant but Manitoba is probably the biggest player in terms of trade with the US.

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