The Canadian Pork Council recently attended a meeting of North American pork industry leaders, where they discussed many areas of common interest and concern.
The meeting took place in Miami, Florida, where representatives of the CPC met with their counterparts from the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) which hosted the meeting, and the Mexican pork producer organization, the Confederación de Porcicultores Mexicanos.
The CPC was represented by its chair, Rick Bergmann, first vice-chair Bill Wymenga and Frank Novak, second vice-chair. They were joined by Martin Rice, CPC’s executive director.
As all three countries have significant export interests – in fact, North America accounts for over half of world pork exports – trade, as always, was an important topic and there exists great interest in the potential Trans-Pacific Partnership which liberalize conditions of trade in a pact that would include the United States, Canada and Mexico together with nine other countries, including Japan, that all together account for 40 percent of world trade.
There was discussion of the need to resolve the country-of-origin labelling (COOL) dispute at the World Trade Organization, which, if not resolved soon, threatens to disrupt US exports to both Canada and Mexico. The report of the WTO Appellate Body, created when the US government decided for still another appeal of a second dispute panel finding that the United States COOL rule is out of compliance with its international obligations, will be issued by May 18th.
The Mexican, US and Canadian producer representatives discussed several others areas of common interest including the need to maintain on-farm biosecurity and transport vehicle cleaning measures to reduce, and hopefully eradicate, Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv).
“I always find these joint meetings to be highly productive,” said Bergmann, who farms in Steinbach, Manitoba. “Given the number of common interests, we are able to learn from each other’s efforts to provide consumers – domestically and internationally – with high quality and humanely raised pork and pork products.”
The next meeting will be take place in the fall of 2015 and be hosted by Mexico.