Canadian pork exports hit a record 1.246 million metric tonnes last year worth $3.8 billion. More than 100 countries bought Canadian pork.
“Pork producers understand that market access is of paramount importance to the sustainability of the country and the hog industry,” says Rick Bergmann, chairman of the Canadian Pork Council.
“The development of international market opportunities like Japan and China creates Canadian jobs across the country, attracts investment and contributes to growing the economy.”
The United States, China and Japan remain Canada’s top three pork export markets in both volume and value.
Japan bought $1.07 billion worth and China $580 million worth. China’s purchases increased by 144 per cent to 312,000 tonnes.
The globally competitive Canadian hog and pork industry generates $13.1 billion in economic activity and 31,000 on-farm jobs.
Another 69,000 Canadians rely on the pork sector for their livelihoods.
More than 70 per cent of Canada’s pork is now exported.
Yet a mere two years ago, hog prices were well below the cost of production and farmers were once again hanging on by their financial fingernails.
And in 2013, Big Sky Farms was bought out of bankruptcy by Olymel and Puratone by Maple Leaf Foods. The packers bought not because they were keen about becoming hog producers, but because they needed pigs to keep flowing to their packing plants in Saskatchewan and Manitoba.