Pork Industry Needs to Reduce Reliance on US

CANADA - The Saskatchewan Pork Development Board suggests to flourish Canada's swine industry needs to reduce its reliance on the United States, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 29 September 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

Losses within the Canadian pork industry have continued for about three years.

Sask Pork Chair Joe Kleinsasser, on hand for a meeting of pork producers Friday in Rosetown, suggests, while pork producers in most of the rest of the world have recovered, the North American industry continues to struggle.

Joe Kleinsasser-Saskatchewan Pork Development Board

Number one, we have to get a price in Canada.

We have to get a "Made in Canada" price for our pigs.

Our pigs right now are going off a price which is the American spot price and only 17 per cent of the pigs killed in the states are killed on that price.

The rest are in contracts.

It's almost an insult to our producers to take a price that is only based on 17 per cent of the kill.

That is one of the things that I think this industry needs to do.

The other one is we need to cut our reliance on the Americans.

When you look at what's happened around the world, all the countries that were suffering, went through bad times, down-sized their industry and are now doing very well.

Great Britain is making money, Australia is doing very well.

These are industries that went through maybe a year and a half of turmoil have turned around.

We have gone through almost three years because we started out when the rest of the countries did in losing money.

Even though we cut our herd, it didn't matter because we're joined at the navel with the Americans who lagged a year and a half behind the rest of the world in terms of hurt in their industry so they're still adjusting to that and because we're tied to them we still haven't reaped the benefit of a turn-around.

So we need to reduce our reliance on the Americans.

Mr Kleinsasser notes the Canadian breeding herd has been reduced by 12 percent and further cuts are planned the but Americans have not followed suit.

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