Farmscape for March 27, 2018
The Chair of the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board says the biggest challenge for Canada's pork sector in Japan will be keeping up with demand for the product.
In early March a delegation representing the Canadian pork sector visited Japan to meet with key buyers of Canadian pork.
Casey Smit, the Chair of the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board, says Japan offers tremendous opportunity for western Canada's pork producers and processors.
Clip-Casey Smit-Saskatchewan Pork Development Board:
All three major packers on the prairies, Olymel, HyLife and Maple Leaf maintain sales offices in Japan to grow sales and service customers.
The other regional abattoirs as well also market pork to Japan but typically through brokers and I think the point of all of this is that all of the companies rely on market hogs from across the prairies and Saskatchewan and play an important role to all three in providing market hogs.
When we look at what the large packers are and the regional abattoirs as well, certainly without their efforts in Japan and elsewhere we simply could not produce the volumes that we do today.
Having said all of that, and I think this is important to note, that all of the packers are looking for more market hogs to support the increasing demand which is the really exciting part in what we saw in Japan.
For example, when we visited Costco, they really see them just scratching the surface.
Canadian pork is a big part of their program that put in their stores.
They're looking at how they expand elsewhere and they've got a really aggressive strategy going forward.
They really see the need to continue that supply of pork there and that'll be the challenge for the Canadian hog industry is how do we continue to support that to our packers and to make sure we get the animals into the system that we can supply quality pork.
That was a direct question that we had from a grocery store chain.
They have 100 stores throughout Japan and their biggest concern was, if they're going to showcase Canadian pork through their stores, how do we continue increasing the supply there so they have a continuous supply of quality product.
Smit notes pork is one of the main protein sources in Japan, second only to seafood.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork