The Canadian Pork Council (CPC) is joining many other farm organizations in selecting trade as a priority in the upcoming federal election. In particular, the CPC is calling on the next government to maintain competitive access to markets and further develop trade with Asian regions.
Chairperson, Rick Bergmann, says the four priorities are based on the needs of the sector across the country and what is required to continue to build sustainability for producers.
"We recognized that we're a major employer in Canada, we're a significant economic engine, and so when we do well it seems like many others also do well along the chain," he added.
According to Bergmann, 70 per cent of pork produced in Canada is exported and he says without trade the nation's hog industry would be in big trouble.
"We're in big trouble right now because we did have good trade going on, about half a billion dollars, with China and right now we're out of China due to some significant complications and that's caused some significant hardships," said Bergmann. He adds Canada being a part of the CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership) has been a good benefit for the industry. "Our pork producers have exported product to eighty-eight countries this last year and we would like to go after more countries and build our business with that."
Tying into this issue is another one of CPC'S election priorities: the need for effective business risk management programs. Bergmann feels it's high time the programs were corrected and says the current system has left producers over exposed.
"As producers we're risk takers, we understand the risks of business and so on, but there are things that occur throughout the year that we have no control over and we need to be protected from those occurrences in order to remain strong on the farm and carry on the next year," he explained, saying this is a very important subject for Canada's pork sector. "Why? Because our farm gate annual sales are well over four billion dollars and we're the fourth-largest farm cash receipt in the country."
CPC is also calling for the next federal government to establish a Canadian Pork Promotion Research Agency, which Bergmann feels would bring good value to the sector.
"The U.S., our friends to the south, have this and whenever we export live animals or pork into the U.S. by the way it's set up at the Border then the U.S. producer is benefited through a research organization there and we want the same thing," he said. Click here to see more...