Canada and US Meet to Discuss M-COOL

CANADA - The Chirmain of Manitoba Pork Council says the common concerns related to the impact of US Mandaoty Country of origin Labelling (M-COOL) have helped unite pork producers on both sides of the Canada US border, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 11 March 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

Pork producers from Canada and the US met yesterday in Minnipaopilis to discuss the impact US mandaory Country of Origin labelling is having is having on producers on both sides of the border.

Manitoba Pork Council Chairman Karl Kynoch says the new labelling regulations have slowed the movement of Canadian pigs into the US resulting in barns on both sides of the border going empty resulting in reduced production and threatening to disrupt US exports and potentialy resulting in the closeure of US packing plants.

Karl Kynoch-Manitoba Pork Council

They're concerned that they're going to lose some of their processing industry.

If we go back when the BSE hit and the border got closed to cattle and they didn't have as many cattle coming south it didnt take very long and there was three of their major plants closed down and they never did re-open so it's a huge concern.

Maybe the short term gain, you'll see a little bit of pressure looking for pigs but long term the producers we were talking to, they know that eventually if the processing plants aren't running to full capacity and they lose one or two of them, they're going to be right back to where they're pressured again for shackle space so a very huge concern about their processing industry not running efficiently without the pigs and actually losing that capacity.

For example Morrel's has come out and they've stated that, after the end of this month, they're not going to buy any more Canadian pigs and they used to be a large buyer of Canadian pigs.

There's speculation in the US, they're wondering if Morrel's doesn't keep those plants running full with canadian pigs, where are they going to get them?

If they can't get US pigs are they going to close a plant?

There's always concern that sombody somewhere is going to shut down a plant.

Mr Kynoch says the hurt resulting from Mandtory COOL has been similar for Canadian and American producers and the common concerns have actually strengthened relations between the two industries.

He says the longer the issue drags out the more producers that will be lost on both sides of the border.

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