Canadian Pork Plant Approved to Export to EU

CANADA - The Canadian Pork Council is applauding approval of a Quebec based hog slaughter and pork cutting facility as Canada’s first integrated pork processing plant to be granted approval for the export of pork products to the European Union, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 18 March 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

Quebec based Les Aliments Lucyporc has become the first Canadian pork processor to have an integrated pork processing plant granted approval for the export of pork products to the European Union under a veterinary protocol signed a couple of years ago which outlines conditions for the two to ship pork into each other's jurisdictions.

Canadian Pork Council executive director Martin Rice notes the EU represents a market of 500 million people.

Martin Rice-Canadian Pork Council

With Country of Origin Labelling we've been really confronted with serious uncertainty over the United States as the market that we've had over decades being our primary market.

Country of Origin Labelling is causing the US processors to doubt whether they can buy Canadian pigs.

Some have said they won't, some have been ready to take them, but at a discount.

While we are not giving up entirely on that trade, there's definitely been a serious dent in what has been, under NAFTA, an open trade situation so we really do need export alternatives.

We have tremendously lessened our dependence on the US for our pork exports over the years.

We once exported probably 80 per cent of our pork to the United States.

Now that's down to well under 40 per cent, even close to 30.

However we do have this large number of pigs that are currently exported to the US and, if we are going to be able to keep them at home, give economic alternative for those pigs to be finished in Canada, we're going to need additional export markets.

In addition we've been importing pork from the European Union for many years so I think it's just important to have a more equitable trade relationship than what we're used to.

Mr Rice is confident other Canadian plants will be approved for exporting pork to the EU.

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