Ottawa, Ont. – The federal government is working together with provincial governments, the Canadian Pork Council, the Canadian Meat Council, producers and processors to find ways to meet the challenges currently facing Canada’s $4-billion pork industry.
This summer a combined government-industry task team was formed to assess current challenges facing pork producers, including high feed costs, lower hog prices, the higher Canadian dollar, and U.S. Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) legislation.
Although consensus is that market conditions will improve by spring 2013, the Hog Industry Task Team has announced immediate actions to help the sector face short-term financial issues. These include:
- Highlighting that immediate support is available through existing business risk management programs, such as AgriStability interim payments, funds available through AgriInvest accounts, and cash advances through the Advance Payments Program. Government will work with program administrators to fast-track requests to access these funds.
- The government will work with the Advance Payments Program so that applications for cash advances are processed as quickly as possible. Producers may apply for guaranteed loans of up to $400,000, based on their animal inventory, with the first $100,000 being interest free.
- Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will adjust the Hog Industry Loan Loss Reserve Program to ensure producers with existing loans under the program, and their financial institutions, have the flexibility they need to make business decisions that help deal with the current liquidity crisis. The terms of the program have been adjusted to allow lenders to extend an interest-only payment period.
More information on the various programs can be found on their websites: www.agr.gc.ca/agristability, www.agr.gc.ca/agriinvest and www.agr.gc.ca/app