Pork Industry Increasingly Dependent on Pork Exports

CANADA - Hylife Foods reports a combination of decreased domestic pork consumption and increased pork imports, primarily from the United States, has made the Canadian pork industry increasing dependent on exports, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 6 February 2013
clock icon 3 minute read

Hylife is an integrated farms to foods company which started in live production before evolving into processing with the purchase of a processing plant in Neepawa, Manitoba in 2008.

Since the purchase the plant's capacity has been expanded and several improvements have been made to target the Asian fresh chilled market, specifically Japan.

Guy Baudry, the senior vice-president and general manager of Hylife Foods, told those on hand last month for the Banff Pork Seminar, the Canadian industry is more dependent than ever on exports.

Guy Baudry-Hylife Foods

With respect to global production, Canada produces two percent of the global pork production but, from an export standpoint, Canada exports approximately 14 percent of the global production.

When you turn that and you look at that from a Canadian perspective, pork exports drive our industry.

They represent 61 per cent of our production.

But, what's concerning about our Canadian pork dynamics is that if you look at the last decade we've had a reduction in our domestic pork consumption by 17 per cent.

Conversely though we have had a continued increase of pork imports coming primarily from the US into Canada.

The result of that is this is country is dependent on Canadian exports.

But let us understand, if we're not consuming as much pork as we used to be and we're now importing more pork from the US into Canada it actually means we're even more reliant on Canadian exports.

Mr Baudry suggests now is the time to apply what the Canadian pork industry has learned on the export market to the domestic market.

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