Pork Producers Applaud Govt Restructuring Plan

CANADA - Canada's swine producers are applauding a restructuring plan unveiled by the federal government for the Canadian pork industry, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 17 August 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

Canadian pork producers have been losing money for about three years due to the high value of the Canadian dollar, high feed, fuel and energy costs, the global recession and most recently the impact of H1N1.

On Saturday federal agriculture minister Gerry Ritz announced a government backed restructuring plan which will include marketing initiatives to encourage customers to buy more Canadian pork, government backed credit to help viable operations deal with the economic uncertainty and a transition program to allow struggling producers to exit the industry.

Canadian Pork Council Chair Jurgen Preugschas says, with some 42 thousand jobs across Canada at stake, the Canadian economy will be the big winner.

Jurgen Preugschas-Canadian Pork Council

It's really welcomed by Canadian hog producers.

It is showing a comprehensive plan whereby initially loans will be made available to those hog operations that are viable on a long term basis and it will help them get through these periods of extreme liquidity crissis.

Then in addition those that won't be able to make it or choose to exit the industry, there's a transition plan for them to exit with some of their equity intact.

Thirdly the 17 million for export market development is really key in fulfilling our strategic goals and diversifying our trade even more and branding our products.

Mr Preugschas notes this program is completely trade neutral and is similar to programs in the US.

He adds Canada has reduced its sow herd over the past three years and will make further reductions and he believes the Americans now need step up to the plate and follow Canada's lead in terms of reducing production.

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