Pork farmers requesting government help to continue producing food
For immediate release
April 23, 2020 OTTAWA – Canada’s pork producers are facing an unprecedented crisis as a result of COVID-19. The pandemic has put farm families and their livelihoods at risk and the potential for a sharp rise in food insecurity has never been greater. Producers across the country now expect to lose $30 to $50 a hog for every hog they sell in 2020, costing farmers across the country $675 million dollars. Farmers are being pushed to the brink.
COVID-19 has pushed the pork sector into free fall by disrupting supply chains and driving down prices. The market devastation caused by COVID-19 will only increase as the pandemic drags on.
“We are asking the government for an emergency payment of $20/hog so that pork producers can continue to pay bills, feed pigs and keep producing food for Canadian families” explains Rick Bergmann, Canadian Pork Council Chair and Manitoba producer. “Without it, family farms will be lost. In turn we will continue to see disruption in the food supply chain, and increased food insecurity as supplies tighten and food becomes even more expensive,” adds Mr. Bergmann.
The Canadian Pork Council has been working with government officials to impress upon them the seriousness and the urgency of the situation and demand swift action. “Governments don’t need to reinvent the wheel, they have the tools to fix this problem,” said Mr. Bergmann. “They need the political will to do it,” he adds.
Governments have said food security is a priority, but they have offered little concrete support for Canada’s food producers. Canadians risk seeing food shortages if governments do not step forward with the support farmers need to keep producing food before the end of the month. “Pork producers can simply not afford to continue raising animals under these conditions,” said René Roy, CPC 1st Vice-Chair. “We love what we do, and love being able to feed people a safe, high-quality protein, but we feel very lonely shouldering the impact of this global crisis,” added Mr. Roy.
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.
Céline Bourbonnais, Canadian Pork Council
613 236-9239 ext. 269 email@example.com
Canadian Pork Council Chair Rick Bergmann addresses media during a virtual press conference on April 23, 2020 about the impact of COVID-19 on Canadian pork producers.
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