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Ag Minister Says Hog Industry Recovery Plan Working

by 5m Editor
4 March 2010, at 11:23am

CANADA - Bruce Cochrane writes that Canada's agriculture minister says federal programmes designed to assist the Canadian pork industry as it recovers from three years of depressed prices are working.

Last August the federal government unveiled a three part plan to assist Canada's pork industry in recovering from a prolonged period of depressed prices brought on by high input costs, an over supply of hogs, the strong Canadian dollar, US Country of Origin Labelling and the global recession.

The package includes funding for international pork marketing initiatives, access to interest bearing government backed loans and incentives to help struggling operations transition out of the industry.

Yesterday, following the delivery of the speech from the throne, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz told reporters the recovery plan is working.

Gerry Ritz-Canada Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

As you know the economy world wide put a hold on a lot of red meat sales.

Certainly Canada was affected by that when we export a vast majority of our pork and beef.

Having said that we're starting to see some turn arounds, not necessarily US bound but in some of the other markets that we've been able to tap.

We're just able to get pork back into China.

We think that's a tremendous step forward.

That's a 50 million dollar advantage that we have over the Americans and the Australians at this point, thanks in part to the great team that I have here at Ag Canada and the great product that we have to sell.


The application deadline for loans under the Hog Industry Loan Loss Reserve Programme is 26 March and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has estimated 25 per cent of Canadian production is now being financed under that programme.

The fourth and final tender under the Hog Farm Transition Program, under which another 14 million dollars will be allocated to producers who agree to idle barns for a minimum of three years, is slated for 10 March.

Minister Ritz says the economies of scale and market forces are starting to drive the situation back to a positive, we're seeing American buyers returning to Canada for feeder pigs and, for what was a 50 dollar pig, they're now offering 70 dollars.

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