Federal commitment not enough to help Canadian pork producers
For immediate release
May 5, 2020 – OTTAWA Although any help from the federal government to support the food sector weather the storm brought on by COVID-19 is welcomed, Canadian pork producers and their families remain at risk given the very limited support outlined in this morning’s announcement. The funds promised by the Government of Canada simply do not address the problems producers are facing.
Industry experts have estimated that pork producers will lose $675 million in 2020. For weeks now, producers have been expressing the critical need for support. We specifically asked for $20/hog to feed the animals, keep the lights on and ensure consumers have ready access to wholesome Canadian pork products. “For the past 5 years we have heard from our government that they want to help us to grow our sector, yet when our house is burning, they are offering us a glass of water to save it” illustrates Rick Bergmann, Canadian Pork Council (CPC) Chair.
Producers have been deeply affected by the sharp decline in hog prices and the reduced capacity of processing facilities to accept their animals. “We want to be able to continue producing food. Providing us with band-aid solutions will only relieve the immediate pressure, but doesn’t solve producers’ liquidity problem” explains René Roy, CPC 1st Vice-Chair.
The sector is critical to Canada’s food security, an important employer, and a significant industry that will be instrumental in restarting the economy. “We are thankful for the Minister’s continued advocacy for our sector, but Canadian pork farm families are in danger. Should they fail, food insecurity will increase as supplies tighten and food gets more expensive,” concludes Mr. Bergmann.
The Canadian Pork Council is the national voice for hog producers in Canada. A federation of nine provincial pork industry associations representing 7,000 farms, the organization plays a leadership role in achieving and maintaining a dynamic and prosperous Canadian pork sector.
Gary Stordy, Canadian Pork Council
613 236-9239 ext. 277 firstname.lastname@example.org
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