Producers Await Govt Response to Recovery Plan

by 5m Editor
14 July 2009, at 12:11pm

CANADA - Canada's pork producers are hoping for a timely response to the their request for government support for the implementation of a Canadian Hog Industry Strategic Transition Plan, writes Bruce Cochrane.

A request for government support for a hog industry transition plan was one of the top agenda items when Canada's federal, provincial and territorial Ministers of Agriculture met last week in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.

The plan, developed by the Canadian Pork Council, calls for refinancing of existing loans under the Advance Payment Program and access to a second draw under that program, a special H1N1 loan plan to address losses resulting directly from public response to the infection and establishment of a hog farm transition payment program.

CPC President Jurgen Preugschas says federal agriculture minister Gerry Ritz has assured him that government is looking at the proposal seriously and he is hopeful cabinet will approve some sort of a program in the near future.

Jurgen Preugschas-Canadian Pork Council

Producers are on the edge.

As we speak the melt-down is beginning so the need of getting the money to our producers immediately is critical.

Producers are going out of business as we speak so it's critical.

Timeliness is the number one issue right now.

As for the H1N1, when it broke, as you know the prices for our pigs North America wide collapsed and they have not recovered as we speak.

We estimate that we're some 50 dollars per pig below what we could have expected if H1N1 would not have hit the industry.

Preugschas suggests we have to remember that pork is the preferred protein around the world and all of the studies indicate an increased pork consumption in the future.

He says, with North America accounting for about 50 percent of the world trade in pork, the long term outlook is relatively bright for the Canadian industry.