Pork industry happy for more financial supports from government
by Sean Heeger, Observer (Canada)
July 30, 2020
Already caught up in trade disputes, significantly between the U.S. and China, over the past couple of years, the Canadian pork industry got even more volatile when COVID-19 arrived on the scene. As the food sector faced shutdowns, producers had to scramble to find new markets for 50 to 60 per cent of their goods.
To help this and other sectors of the embattled agriculture industry, the Ontario government announced a $50-million increase to its risk management program (RMP). That move came a year sooner than originally intended, and helps farmers with unforeseen challenges such as changing market prices, extreme weather events and disease.
“Our government stands shoulder to shoulder with our farmers during these unprecedented times. As we chart a path to recovery, we will be there for our farmers and their workers to help them continue to put food on our tables,” said Premier Doug Ford during an announcement earlier in the month. “We committed to expanding this program in year three of our mandate, but we are delivering on that commitment a year earlier than promised to provide more stability, income security and peace of mind for farmers, which is long overdue. I’m proud to say promise made, promise kept.”
The now $150-million annual program – which has been a permanent fixture in the provincial budget since 2011 – covers those in the cattle, grains and oilseed, hog, sheep and veal sectors. It works like insurance to offset costs which can stem from low commodity prices and rising production costs. This comes at a much needed time as the COVID-19 pandemic hit all industries hard, with local pork farmers and producers seeing disruptions across the board.
Eric Schwindt, chair of Ontario Pork, says...