Friday, August 8, 2014

Pork hardest hit by Russian ban

About 1,000 containers filled with Canadian pork were on their way to Russia when the country announced a one-year ban on all food from Canada, the United States and all other nations that have imposed economic sanctions designed to pressure Russia to get out and stay out of the Ukraine.

Gary Stordy, spokesman for the Canadian Pork Council, said there could be significant disruptions for particular items. For example, Russians buy a lot of trimmings to make sausage.

Stordy said “we believe Canada has gone to great lengths to provide specific pork products that have been requested by the Russian market and any disruption of trade could have an impact on our industry.”

Last year Russia banned pork from hogs raised with the help of ractopamine (Paylean) and that left only 11 Canadian pork plants and three beef plants able to export to Russia. Quality Meat Packers, now in bankruptcy, was one of them.

Stordy said Canada allows Russians to inspect packing plants to ensure food-safety standards are being met.

Canada’s agriculture and food exports to Russia totaled $563 million in 2012.

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz went on a trade mission last year and announced deals worth $11 million.

He and Ontario Agriculture Minister Jeff Leal both said there will be government support for hog farmers. That's a fine piece of dissembling - i.e. misleading the public with the truth. They are both referring to price-support policies and both know that prices are so high that the Russian ban isn't going to trigger any support payments.