Japan Remains Priority Market for Canadian Pork

CANADA - Manitoba Pork Council is assuring Japanese buyers of pork that, despite reductions in Canadian hog production, Japan remains a high priority market that will continue to be well served, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 17 September 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

Approximately a dozen representatives of the Canadian pork industry, including two from Manitoba, returned earlier this month from a 12-day trade mission to Japan, Hong Kong and China.

Manitoba Pork Council director Rick Prejet says, as a result of significant reductions in Canadian hog numbers, a key concern among Japanese buyers right now is availability of Canadian pork supply.

Rick Prejet-Manitoba Pork Council

Canada is regarded as the number on quality pork in Japan.

Pretty much everybody we talked to, everybody from meat traders, journalists, meat managers, restaurant owners pretty much all agreed that Canadian pork is number one in quality.

The competition over there basically is the US pork and domestically produced pork in Japan.

But of course the amount of pork produced in Japan is not a huge amount and it doesn't look like that's going to be increasing or decreasing anytime soon so basically the competition is the US

Also one of the messages that we had to bring over there too because there was some concern about this is that they know we are in tough times here in Canada financially as pork producers.

There was some concerns about us being able to continue to serve that market.

I think that was a big message we had to bring to them is that we're not going to be decreasing the amount of pork that we have able for export to the Japanese market.

If anything that may increase.

We've lost a lot of production in Canada here but a big chunk of that loss in production means less live swine exports to the US so we had to get that message across to the traders, the buyers in Japan that we will continue to serve that market.

Mr Prejet acknowledges, as good as our quality is, there are times when it's not as consistent as the Japanese would like.

He says it's important to make sure when Japanese consumers buy Canadian pork that the quality is the same from one time to the next.

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