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News 399 views last update:Dec 4, 2007

Canada: Dismay at EU pork export refunds

The Canadian Pork Council (CPC) has stated that the Canadian ministry of agriculture is dismayed at the news that the EU has granted pork export subsidies to its member states.

The subsidies, which amount to around CAD45 (€31) per 100kg carcase meat - fresh or frozen and CAD27 (€19) per 100kg pig stomach - are applicable for all destinations outside the EU.

The agriculture ministry is to explore the other options open to persuade the EU to pursue an alternative, less trade damaging path.

Pork crisis
According to Clare Schlegel, president of the CPC, "we understand the EU's reasons behind this move in view of the economic crisis faced by its pork producers. However, we in Canada are also facing such challenges. These subsidises will force us, the US, Brazilian and other pork exporters outside the EU to cut prices in order to remain competitive".

Government subsidies directly lowering export prices are considered the most distorted form of government assistance to agriculture. Removing such government export subsidies has been the core objective of the WTO Doha Round of negotiations and a difficult point between the EU, the US and Canada.

In the US and Europe, farmers have long been receiving subsidies and there is an element of debate over whether politicians prolong giving them in order to gain the farmers' vote. Studies have also revealed that much of the time subsidies end up in the pockets of larger farmers and not always in the small farms for which they are destined.

Related websites:

• Canadian Pork Council

• Canadian Ministry of Agriculture

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