Canada invests in pork industry expansion, ASF prevention

Canada invests in pork industry expansion, ASF prevention

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Funding will go toward marketing initiatives and African swine fever prevention and preparation efforts

The Canadian government will invest CA$4.6 million (US$3.6 million) to expand the country’s pork industry and protect it from African swine fever (ASF).

More than CA$3.2 million will go to Canada Pork International to develop export market initiatives to maintain and improve access to international markets, and develop promotional activities and tools to increase market share in priority markets. More than CA$550,000 will support the Canadian Pork Council’s national marketing activities to increase domestic consumption and support international relationships and coordination across the value chain. These projects are supported under the federal AgriMarketing Program.

An additional CA$850,000 will go to the Canadian Pork Council to help the industry prevent and prepare for ASF. This adds to the previously announced funding of more than CAN$3.8 million for the Canadian Pork Excellence platform, which integrates three principal on-farm programs: 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.

Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bideau announced the funding on December 7 during Le Porc Show, according to a press release.

“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,” Bibeau said. “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.”

Since ASF was detected in pigs in the Dominican Republic and Haiti this year, North American swine producers and stakeholders have stepped up their surveillance and prevention strategies.

“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,” said Rick Bergmann, Canadian Pork Council Chair. “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.”

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. In 2020, the 7,635 Canadian hog farms produced 27.8 million hogs. The largest hog producing provinces are Manitoba, Québec and Ontario, representing 80 percent of total production.