Reaching Beyond Borders: How American ag issues are weighing on Canadian pork

Two American ag issues are weighing on the Canadian pork industry.

Manitoba Pork shares the problem with California’s Prop-12.

According to Cam Dahl, “It’s a requirement in California for very specific space requirements for raising animals, including pigs, and all the pork sold in the state, to meet these requirements. So, that means that their legislation is reaching beyond the borders of California and into Canada. Manitoba, alone, ships about 3 million pigs, mostly to Iowa. Young weanling pigs, to be raised in Iowa, if they’re going into the California market, we have to comply with that California law.”

Canada exports almost all of its live pigs and pork products with the majority of it going to the U.S.

Another issue weighing on Canada’s pork industry is the “Product of the USA” label. Manitoba Pork says that the U.S. is trying to fix something that is not broken.

“Right now, if you buy a ham in the U.S. that’s been processed at a U.S. packing plant, but that pig happened to be born in Canada, that can still carry the ‘Product of USA’ label. What the administration is proposing is to change that, so that the requirement will be born, raised, processed, and packaged in the U.S.,” he explains.

Dahl says that these two issues did not start out as trade related but that is what they are becoming.

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