Canadain Pork Producers Want Balanced Policies

Farmers Matter, a Canadian group created by Ontario pork and beef farmers from Perth County, Ontario, brought together several hundred producers and politicians late November to discuss ways to improve the local and international swine & beef business playing field.

“We want to earn our living from the marketplace,” said Kolkman [Gerald Kolkman, president of the Perth County Pork Producers], adding changes at both the federal and provincial levels are needed to put a stop to four years of losses for pork producers.

The focus of the meeting was to discuss improving food safety; overcoming provincial policy which distorts the flow of goods between provinces; supporting farmers who face short-term risk with fluctuating currency; and improving support for new farmers.

Kolkman said there are inter-provincial discrepancies which put Ontario producers at a disadvantage, particularly now while farmers, with a strong Canadian dollar, are experiencing low export sales. Farmers here need the tools to mitigate short-term risks, he added, pointing to Quebec, whose farmers are partially protected through a price insurance program, as an example of the divide in policy that exists across the country.