Canadian Standard for Pork Quality Recommended

CANADA - Participants in a Canadian pork industry trade mission that traveled to Japan are endorsing the creation of a Canadian pork industry standard aimed specifically at satisfying the demands of that market, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 24 September 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

Representatives of Canada Pork International, the Canadian Pork Council and pork councils across Canada returned earlier this month from a trade mission to China, Hong Kong and Japan.

The main focus of the trip was learn more about the premium Japanese market and what buyers there are looking for.

Manitoba Pork Council sustainable development manager Mike Teillet says, while Canadian pork tends to be preferred over other imported pork, Japanese buyers are very discriminating.

Mike Teillet-Manitoba Pork Council

They look for colour, for example they want white fat.

This is what we were told.

They prefer the white fat over the yellow fat.

They want a consistency in size.

They also tend to cut their pork very thinly compared to what we do and that means that they want a very firm texture in their pork so that it cuts thinly without flaking.

There was also some mention of bone chips.

They were concerned about that and they want to ensure that quality stays high.

They felt that, to some extent, the quality coming from all imported pork tended to be inconsistent.

They notice when our quality drops so we have to make sure that we keep our quality level up.

A couple of things that we have talked about were developing a Canadian standard.

Right now we don't really have one for pork, but a series of measurements or quality attributes that would deal with marbling and colour or size, firmness, texture and that sort of thing.

Mr Teillet believes that would be helpful in Japan because the Japanese are so discriminating and he believes there is an opportunity to create a premium niche market in Japan for Canadian pork.

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