The Chinese government is encouraging companies to build hog farms overseas to meet its domestic demand for pork.
That could include Canada because Reuters news agency reports that the government said “the pig farms should be built in countries with stable bilateral trade relations with China, and are African swine fever-free.”
Smithfield Foods of Virginia is owned by a Chinese company. It is by far the largest hog producer and pork packer in North America and at one time owned J.M. Schneider Inc. of Kitchener. It sold to Maple Leaf Foods.
China's message came from the top government document, issued by the national development and reform commission and ministry of agriculture and rural affairs.
Beijing has been taking various measures to boost pig production and increase pork supplies, including urging local authorities to secure construction materials for new and expanded pig farms during the coronavirus outbreak, and allow farmers to build pig pens on deserted land and facilities for animal waste treatment and sterilization on some farmland.