The Canadian pork industry is asking the federal government for help to tackle competitiveness issues.
The Canadian Pork Council, Canada Pork International and the Canadian Meat Council have sent a letter to federal officials to jointly emphasise the situation the export-dependent sector is facing, including a rise in production input costs, including feed and the impact of a strong Canadian dollar.
“We need government collaboration now,” said CPC president Clare Schlegel.
“Our industry is not looking for a hand-out, but we do need to work with government to find real solutions, both now and in the future, to drastically improve our ability to compete globally with other pork-exporting countries.”
To achieve that, the associations presented the government a report entitled, ‘Canadian pork value chain: strengthening our competitiveness’, outlining the sector’s short- and long-term challenges and suggested steps for future success and growth.
There are five main areas that the industry wants Ottawa to take a look at: costs, labour, innovation, risk management and exports.
Not to be outdone by their US counterparts, Canadian pork producers are also urging Ottawa to negotiate a bilateral trade agreement with South Korea.
Martin Rice, executive director of the CPC, said, “The United States has replaced us as the number one [pork] exporter to Korea. We would look at the situation becoming even more favorable to the United States if it has its agreement put into place and Canada doesn’t have one.”