CANADA – Canada’s Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food has announced an investment of more than CA$4.6 million (US$ 3,589,150) for three projects to grow the pork industry within Canada and in international markets, and to help farms continue to ensure high levels of safety in the face of the threat of African swine fever.
These investments build on Canada’s internationally-renowned reputation as a supplier of high-quality and sustainably-produced pork products.
Through an investment of more than $3.2 million, Canada Pork International will undertake export market development initiatives to maintain and improve access to international markets, and develop promotional activities and tools to increase market share in priority markets.
“Our producers’ efforts to make agriculture increasingly sustainable have become a guarantee of quality for Quebec and Canadian pork, which is key to accessing new foreign markets and millions of consumers who seek superior-quality products. Our investments will help producers speed up their shift to more sustainable agriculture, open the door to new markets both here and abroad, and combat threats such as African swine fever,” said the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.
Funding of more than CA$550,000 (US$ 429,137.50 ) will support the Canadian Pork Council’s national marketing activities to increase consumption and value domestically.
This funding will also support the Council’s work to enhance international relationships and coordination with members across the value chain. These projects are supported under the federal AgriMarketing Program.
The AgriMarketing Program supports industry-led promotional activities that highlight Canadian products and producers and boosts Canada’s reputation for high-quality and safe food.
“We are pleased with the investment to increase domestic pork consumption and to better prevent and prepare for the eventuality that an African Swine Fever outbreak could occur in Canada. Canada’s pork producers look forward to continuing to work with Minister Bibeau to increase our sector’s resiliency and advance our contributions to Canada’s environmental, economic and social sustainability,” commented Rick Bergmann, Canadian Pork Council Chair.
African swine fever (ASF) is a contagious and deadly viral disease affecting both domestic and feral swine. It is not a threat to human health and cannot be transmitted from pigs to humans, nor is it a food safety issue. Since 2018, ASF has spread through parts of Asia and Europe, and was most recently detected in the Caribbean. It has never been found in Canada or the United States.
Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau also announced an additional CA$850,000 (US$ 663,212) for the Council to help industry prevent and prepare for African swine fever. This builds on previously announced funding of more than CA$3.8 million (US$ 2,964,950) for the Canadian Pork Excellence platform (CPE).
The CPE program is the new national platform that will be replacing the Canadian Quality Assurance (CQA) program over the next three years. It allows registered pork producers to demonstrate compliance with food safety, animal care, and traceability requirements.
The platform integrates three principal on-farm programs namely PigSAFE; a food safety and biosecurity program; PigCARE, an animal care program,and PigTRACE; a traceability program. These projects are funded through the federal AgriAssurance Program.
The AgriAssurance Program supports national projects to help industry develop and adopt systems, standards and tools to support health, safety and quality claims about Canadian agricultural and agri-food products.
Canada’s pork industry
Canada is the third-largest pork exporter in the world. The Canadian pork industry exports roughly two thirds of its pork production and live hogs, valued at $5.4 billion in 2020, to over 90 countries.
The country’s pork industry is supported by quality on-farm programs that include food safety, animal care, traceability and biosecurity.
“Canada Pork International would like to thank Minister Bibeau and the Government of Canada for the ongoing support of the Canadian pork industry. This funding will also help us tell the remarkable story of how the Canadian pork industry has grown in a sustainable manner, while contributing directly and indirectly to almost 100,000 jobs in Canada,” said Trevor Sears, President & CEO of Canada Pork International.
He further noted that AgriMarketing funding has been fundamental in the development and promotion of a Branding Canada approach to earn consumer trust and build brand equity in Canadian pork products at home and around the globe.