Hopes for M-COOL Changes to Eliminate Discounts

CANADA - Canadian pork producers are hopeful key changes to US mandatory Country of Origin Labelling (M-COOL) will eliminate the discounts imposed by US processors on Canadian origin pigs since the law's implementation, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 15 January 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

Earlier this week USDA unveiled the final rule for mandatory Country of Origin Labelling, which will take effect 16 March.

Since the interim rule took effect 30 September Canadian origin feeder and early wean pigs entering the US have been discounted by as much as nine dollars per head.

Canadian Pork Council Director and CPC representative with Canada Pork International Florian Possberg says the Americans have responded to concerns expressed by stakeholders throughout North America.

Florian Possberg-Canadian Pork Council

We made some of our views know to the US

Mexico made their views known to the US.

We know that there are also producers in the US that benefit from business with Canada and Mexico.

We know that slaughter plants wanted to have more flexibility.

So it appears to us like they've listened to some of the concerns around the North American market and have responded at least somewhat positively.

We know that some of the major packing plants, Cargil, Hormel, Tyson, all were concerned about whether they could incorporate Canadian hogs into their production runs.

We don't know for certain yet if they'll be able to do that.

We think they should be able to and we're very hopeful that they will.

If we have a number of competitors competitively bidding for Canadian hogs then there really shouldn't be much of a discount for our animals in the US.

Possberg says there appears to be a recognition that cattle from Canada and Mexico and hogs from Canada entering the US is good business for the US and improves North America's global competitiveness.

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