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Free Trade Deals Create New Opportunities to market Premium Pork Products

By Bruce Cochrane

The manager of producer services with the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board says recently signed and pending free trade agreements are opening up new opportunities for the province's pork producers to sell premium products world wide.

The federal government has recently negotiated a number of free trade agreements, including deals with South Korea, the European Union and Ukraine and is involved in negotiations aimed at securing participation in additional free trade agreements, most notably the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Harvey Wagner, the manager of producer services with the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board, notes Canada's pork producers export way more product as a percent of total production than other country.

Harvey Wagner-Saskatchewan Pork Development Board:
Generally in Western Canada we have way more hogs than what we can consume domestically so a lot of the meat that's processed is what you would call balanced so some of the product goes into the Canadian domestic market, some of it goes into the U.S. market, but a lot of the product will find its way into offshore or export markets, over seas markets.

Some of it is a market like Mexico or Russia in times past where they would take certain cuts, but the high end cuts, some of the specialty cuts, will go to Japan or to Hong Kong or to mainland China.
That's a very valuable market and it really enhances the value of the whole supply chain, whether it's the packer or right down to the producer to make sure that we're competitive nationally and internationally.

Wagner says, with these trade agreements, including the recent South Korean trade deal, the pending European trade deal and now the new Trans-Pacific Partnership coming through, it certainly opens up much more opportunity to sell premium product world-wide.
He says Saskatchewan's pork industry is certainly gearing toward that now and wants to make sure that we have premium product available to serve these markets.

Source: Farmscape

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