Canadian pork farmers seeking government help in light of COVID-19
April 29, Ottawa, Ont. – Canada’s pork producers are facing an unprecedented crisis as a result of COVID-19.
The Canadian Pork Council (CPC) states that producers across the country are expecting to lose $30 to $50 a hog for every hog they sell in 2020, costing farmers across the country $675 million.
COVID-19 has pushed the pork sector into freefall by disrupting supply chains and driving down prices, and the market devastation caused by the crisis will only increase as the pandemic drags on, the CPC states.
“We are asking the government for an emergency payment of $20/hog so that pork producers can continue to pay bills, feed pigs and keep producing food for Canadian families,” explains Rick Bergmann, CPC chair and Manitoba producer. “Without it, family farms will be lost.
“In turn, we will continue to see disruption in the food supply chain, and increased food insecurity as supplies tighten and food becomes even more expensive.”
The CPC has been working with government officials to impress upon them the seriousness and the urgency of the situation and demand swift action.
“Governments don’t need to reinvent the wheel, they have the tools to fix this problem,” said Bergmann. “They need the political will to do it.”
Governments have said food security is a priority, but they have offered little concrete support for Canada’s food producers, the CPC states, and Canadians risk seeing food shortages if governments do not step forward with the support farmers need to keep producing food before the end of the month.
“Pork producers can simply not afford to continue raising animals under these conditions,” said René Roy, CPC 1st vice-chair. “We love what we do, and love being able to feed people a safe, high-quality protein, but we feel very lonely shouldering the impact of this global crisis.”
The CPC is the national voice for hog producers in Canadaand is a federation of nine provincial pork industry associations representing 7,000 farms.