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CPC Calls for Special H1N1 Recovery Program

by 5m Editor
23 June 2009, at 12:38pm

CANADA - The Canadian Pork Council is appealing to government for special assistance to help pork producers cope with the added economic pressure resulting from the H1N1 flu virus, writes Bruce Cochrane.

Last month the Canadian Pork Council called on the federal government to provide assistance in the form of direct payments to Canadian pork producers.

Last night between 600 and 700 pork industry stakeholders and their supporters gathered in Morris for a rally organized by Manitoba Pork Council to discuss the situation and voice their concerns to federal MPs and provincial MLAs.

Canadian Pork Council chairman Jurgen Preugschas told those on hand, in recognition of the potential risk of trade action in response to a direct payment, the request has been revised to include an H1N1 recovery program.

Jurgen Preugschas-Canadian Pork Council

Our industry is in real dire straights and under an extreme cash crunch and it means we need to do something very very quickly.

There's several things, certainly in the form of loans that we're looking at, maybe doubling up on the advance payments program and then also an H1N1 loan to cover some of those losses and then thirdly to look at an enhanced sow cull program.

The plan would involve our governments, be it federal or provincial and certainly the producers as well and we need a multi-faceted plan that takes a look at getting cash out quickly to producers in some fashion or another.

Then probably another part of that plan is to take a look at restructuring of the industry.

Mr Preugschas estimates losses continue to run in the range of 30 to 50 dollars per hog.

He says producers are indicating they need to have some form of government commitment by the end of June and money needs to be flowing before the end of summer.

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