Pork Industry Restructuring Package Trade Neutral

CANADA - The chair of Manitoba Pork Council says there was a considerable amount of effort to ensure a Canadian pork industry restructuring package would not have negative trade implications, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 18 August 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

This past weekend the federal government unveiled a restructuring plan for Canadian pork producers which includes interest bearing government backed credit, incentives to help struggling operations transition out of the industry and funding for international pork marketing initiatives.

Manitoba Pork Council chair Karl Kynoch says the government was careful to minimize trade implications.

Karl Kynoch-Manitoba Pork Council

We've had a lot of threats come out of the US about a package or assistance coming to the industry but, you know what, this package that has come forward is nothing different than is actually being offered to the producers in the US.

We've basically been offered a loans program.

Most of the money has been offered in some sort of form of loans, just backing up at the banks a little bit, so basically everything that comes out of there will have to be paid back by producers.

The other part of it, which I would imagine our American counterparts will be very happy with, but there's another 75 million been offered to help some producers exit the industry and actually close down their barns.

The one thing that's different about this is before we had a sow buy-out program but this time it's being offered to the weanling barns, the feeder barns and the sow barns so it's being offered to the industry as a whole and that should be very positive with our U.S. counterparts.

They've also put 17 million dollars towards developing more export markets around the world and that's very important because here in Canada we're very reliant on export markets around the world.

What we need to do is really concentrate, for example, in Japan, China, some of these export markets and diversify some of the interests from the US to other markets which also goes a long ways into helping reduce the risk of trade action and that but, again, this industry is very heavily dependent on exports.

Mr Kynoch says the weekend announcement provides an indication to producers of what will be available as they make some tough decisions.

He expects further details to be ironed out over the coming month and further announcements in September.

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