Pork Producers Appeal for Special Assistance

CANADA - The Canadian Pork Council is appealing to Ottawa for special assistance to help Canada's pork producers deal with special circumstances, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 1 June 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

Last week representatives of the Canadian Pork Council appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food as it studies the competitiveness of Canadian agriculture.

New Brunswick pork producer and national chair of the CPC's Business Risk Management Committee Stephen Moffett says Canadian pork producers are competitive but low hog prices, high feed costs, the rise in the value of the Canadian dollar, reduced trade due to US Country of Origin Labelling and now the fallout from the H1N1 flu virus have wiped out much of their equity.

Stephen Moffett-Canadian Pork Council

Producers right now are in dire straits, I think probably every bit as dire straits as the beef producers were after BSE.

I think that, if we don't see some kind of cash support for producers, we're going to lose a huge percentage of our industry and I think that's not a good thing from anyone.

It's not a good thing obviously for those individual farm families that are struggling to survive, it's not a good thing for the supply industry or the processing industry that has built up around pork producers.

We certainly hear comments that if something isn't done and done very quickly that we could lose half of our industry.

It sounds very dramatic but we're really that concerned.

We're having calls from producers that are saying I've got enough money for another week or I've got enough money till the end of June and at some point I'm going to have to close down.

We know that we're in that kind of a situation.

Something really needs to be done quickly in order to give those producers the cash help that they need and certainly the confidence that they need to be able to carry on.

Mr Moffett says Canada has the ability to grow pigs as well as anywhere in the world, the ability to grow grain in western and central regions that's competitive with anywhere in the world and strong a production base but there have been issues that have made it tough to compete financially.

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