Pork sector calls national agency a vital step

The new Canadian Pork Promotion and Research Agency will be funded with levies collected on imported hogs and meat


By D.C. Fraser, The Western Producer (Canada)

November 12, 2020


A new federal agency will use funds from a levy on imported pork to pay for research and promotion of the sector.


On Nov. 5, federal agriculture minister Marie Claude Bibeau officially announced the creation of the Canadian Pork Promotion and Research Agency (PRA).


The Canadian Pork Council has floated the idea for nearly a decade as a way to improve the current system used by the sector for promotion and research, characterized as a patchwork of efforts at the provincial level.


“The PRA will be an important vehicle for producers,” pork council chair Rick Bergmann said in a statement.


“It will help facilitate even greater collaboration across the value chain through increased research and promotion activities. In the long run, it will result in improving the long-term growth and competitiveness of the sector.”


The pork council estimates the agency can provide $2 million in additional research and promotion by receiving funds from a 75-cent levy on imported live pigs and a charge on imported pork meat.


Bibeau said the organization would be led by the industry.


“The federal government is not taking over in any way, it’s really their wish to join forces,” she said.


“I believe working together, joining forces, there will be economy of scales in the type of initiatives they launch through the PRA.”


Provincial groups will keep the responsibility of ensuring that check-off revenue is spent effectively, but the national organization will provide them with an opportunity to collaborate on various research and development projects...






National pork organization offers sector needed boost


By WP editorial (Canada)

November 12, 2020


It took years to get government on board with a national pork agency, but last week the long-standing request from producers came true.


The Canadian Pork Promotion and Research Agency is a welcome entity that will allow Canadian pork producers to better leverage producer checkoffs, charge a levy on pork coming into Canada and fund research to promote and protect the industry into the future.


The levy is a matter of fair play, as well. As it stands, when Canadian product exports to the United States, the American industry collects a checkoff. On the flip side, Canadian producers did not have the legal ability to do the same on American imports.


Canadian producers were, in effect, helping American farmers with their marketing and research costs.


With establishment of the agency, levies can be applied in Canada and funds can be used for vital industry efforts including prevention and/or handling of African swine fever, should it ever reach North America.


We can continue to hope ASF is held at bay but researchers have indicated it’s likely just a matter of time until the disease arrives. While it is not a risk to people, ASF can devastate markets, production and farm profitability. Communications between grower groups and the public will be essential to maintain faith in Canadian pork and the industry, and that will cost money.


So will market promotion, now and in the event of an outbreak. In that case, every dollar will be needed to support information campaigns to protect the nearly $5 billion in farmgate pork receipts that will be at risk.


The Farm Products Agencies Act, a federal agriculture statute, has been around in some form since 1972. It is the legislative basis for supply management agencies such as Dairy Farmers of Canada, many poultry industry groups and more recently, Canada’s beef check-off agency.


The latter group now assembles more than $7 million annually from farmer and import checkoffs.


Provincial checkoffs, which fall under provincial legislation, have also been around for decades and are typically used to fund research, marketing and lobby efforts for the commodity involved.


Government advisers and the Farm Products Council of Canada recommended establishment of this new federal pork agency back in 2015. With continued encouragement from the Pork Value Chain Round Table, the federal government has finally heard and listened to the proposal.


Creating another body to provide promotion and research might sound like additional bureaucracy, but there is at least one good example that belies that inclination...