March 8, 2017
Canada's pork industry recently took a proactive position that supports new or expansion of existing trade agreements to gain more international market access and prevent the erosion of Canada's competitive position in a market.
According to the Canadian Pork Council (CPC), recently released 2016 Canadian pork export statistics showed that the Canadian pork industry can fill global demand when favourable terms of access to foreign markets exist.
"Pork producers understand that market access is of paramount importance to the sustainability of the country and the hog industry," CPC Chair Rick Bergmann said.
"The development of international market opportunities like Japan and China creates Canadian jobs across the country, attracts investment and contributes to growing the economy", he added.
Last year, Canada exported 1.246 million tonnes of pork valued at C$3.8 billion (US$2.834 billion) to over 100 countries. The US, China and Japan remain Canada's top 3 pork export markets in both volume and value.
Japan continued as a highly valued market worth C$1.07 billion (US$798 million) for Canadian pork. Demand for Canadian pork in the Chinese market increased by 144% in 2016. Canada shipped around 12,500 40-foot shipping containers filled with 312,000 tonnes of pork to China. The $580 million in sales of Canadian pork to China represents an increase of 157%, CPC said.
"Canadian hog producers, pork processors and meat traders and the many other companies in Canada that provide inputs and services to our industry have a very strong interest in Canada aggressively pursuing further progress toward reducing agri-food trade barriers and trade-distorting subsidies, and achieving additional market access," said Bergmann.
The globally competitive Canadian hog and pork industry generates $13.1 billion (US$9.771 billion) in economic activity and 31,000 on-farm jobs. Another 69,000 Canadians rely on the pork sector for their livelihoods. Over 70% of the industry's output is now exported, according to CPC.