The pork industry is the 4th largest farming industry in Canada and contributes to the sound economy and prosperity of the country, creates jobs in rural and urban areas and provides abundant supplies of locally produced, affordable, high-quality protein for Canadians and millions of people around the world. Canadian hog producers are committed to following the highest standards in order to care for animals and protect the land and the environment.
There are more than 7,000 pig farms across Canada producing more than 25.5 million animals a year. With direct farm gate annual sales at $4.1 billion, the pork sector is the fourth-largest source of farm cash receipts of any Canadian agricultural commodity. The industry supports 31,000 farm jobs which, in turn, contribute to 103,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs across the country. The total economic activity or output of these jobs generates $23.8 billion when farms, inputs, processing and pork exports are included.
Social Responsibility and Sustainability
Animal care is a key consideration for Canadian pork producers. This requires adopting the high standards set by the industry and government agencies. Producers conduct a welfare assessment for their farm that can then be used to monitor, manage and document on-farm animal care practices. Canadian producers follow the National Farm Animal Care Council's Code of practice for the Care and Handling of Pigs.
Producers understand that prudent use of antimicrobials is key to mitigate the development of antimicrobial resistance. In their commitment to a responsible use of antimicrobials, producers are supporting Health Canada’s regulatory changes to strengthen oversight of veterinary drugs.
The CPC’s Drug Use Policy provides pork producers with the tools for a judicious use of antimicrobials on their animals, ensuring a safe food supply. For example, pigs that have received antibiotics will not be sent to slaughter before all traces of the medicine is out of their system.
Canadian pork producers are stewards of the land. This involves preserving ecosystems and resources, such as soil and water as well as minimizing the environmental impacts of their activities through the implementation of beneficial agricultural practices. For more information, refer to the Guidebook for Environmental Management in the Canadian Pork Sector.
A Life Cycle Assessment of Canadian Pork Production has been completed in 2018. It shows that the Canadian pork footprint is among the lowest in the world. A next-generation LCA is being undertaken by Dr. Tenuta at the University of Manitoba. It will be completed in 2021.