Trade Top of Mind Among Pork Producers

by 5m Editor
13 June 2012, at 10:05am

US & CANADA - The chair of Manitoba Pork Council says concerns over Canadian subsidy programs and increasing volumes of US pork coming into Canada were among the key issued discussed last week during World Pork Expo, Bruce Cochrane writes.

Last week, during World Pork Expo in Des Moines, representatives of the US based National Pork Producers Council met to discuss issues of mutual concern with their counterparts from Manitoba Pork Council.

Manitoba Pork Council chair Karl Kynoch says, one of the biggest concerns on the minds of American pork producers is Canadian programs, such as subsidy programs offered in Ontario and Quebec, that producers in the US consider trade distorting.

Karl Kynoch-Manitoba Pork Council

That has been actually a very hot button here in the US for the past quite awhile as we were down last winter and they brought those issues forward.

They're very concerned about the programs in Canada.

Even for us in Manitoba it become a concern for us when one province has a individual program just for that province and then our producers are having to compete on an unlevel playing field.

In Manitoba Pork, we believe in having programs that are across Canada, that are green programs that are not trade distorting and that the programs should be equal, what ever there is, to all producers across Canada so we're playing on a level playing field with our counterparts.

Again the big thing is to make sure our programs are green and fair to all producers.

We're hoping to have more discussions with that and hopefully we can maybe put out some of those fears with the stabilization programs.

Mr Kynoch says the biggest concern among Canadian producers is the volume of US pork on the shelves of Canadian grocery stores, currently about 30 per cent.

He suggests, while Canadian pork producers believe in free trade, we need to do something, possibly with labeling, to make sure that our consumers are aware of what product has been raised in Canada and what product is coming in from the United States.