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Free Trade Agreements Offer Potential New Pork Marketing Opportunities

23 November 2012, at 10:02am

CANADA - The vice president technical programs and marketing services with Canada Pork International says new free trade agreements are creating potential new destinations for Canadian pork, writes Bruce Cochrane.

With 64 per cent of its annual production sold to customers around the world, the Canadian pork industry is particularly export dependant.

Michael Young, the vice president technical programs and marketing services with Canada Pork International says, while the primary focus is expanding the value of products sold into existing markets, new markets also offer potential opportunities.

Michael Young-Canada Pork International:

We often say we sell to over 100 countries but the reality is the vast majority of our exports go to top ten countries really, so over one million tons.

We're essentially in all of the key markets now. Part of our strategy now is to improve the value return for the meat that's going there now and then part of that is ongoing market development.

Unopened markets to us at the moment of course is the EU. There is definitely some opportunity for us. We have three plants that are now approved for the EU.

Based on the Euro right now it doesn't make sense but it will in the future we believe. We believe there will be a demand so many of our other plants are paying attention and have the ability to become EU approved once there is a free trade agreement in place that will be favorable to the meat sector and this is in the works.

The federal government is doing an excellent job negotiating these things. In fact it's their job, to negotiate all trade access issues around the world.

We collectively work with them, provide them with the information that they need so that they can be as effective as they can and also communicate information back to our members if things do change quickly and that they need to know about that as part of their business.

Mr Young acknowledges there are different views on the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations but he notes our major competitors are at the table so long term Canada needs to be part those discussions as well to maintain our current market share.

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