Canada Pork International says changes made by Canadian pork producers over the past number of years have well positioned the Canadian pork industry to maximize opportunities on the export market.
Over the last few years Canada has exported over 60 percent of its pork production at a time when domestic consumption has declined and increased imports from the U.S. have further eroded the domestic market.
Michael Young, the director of technical programs and marketing services with Canada Pork International, says over the last three years Canada has exported one million tonnes of pork per year and the challenge now is to take that million tonnes and maximize its value.
Clip-Michael Young--Canada Pork International:
The highest value products are really sold to table meat and restaurant markets around the world and they have a lot to choose from.
They have high quality products that can come in from the EU or from the U.S. and they ask questions.
They're looking for the story, the back story.
Canada has an excellent image of high quality food.
We have a low population base which from the other side of the world when you're in a crowd in Tokyo looking over to Canada and you see 33 million people living in the second largest country in the world you know that there's lots of room to produce high quality livestock whether it be beef or pork so that's all part of the story.
We get down to the proof points, CQA, animal welfare programs, all of the changes that Canadian producers have made over the years have not been just for fun.
These are issues that are important to our customers.
The Canadian industry has stepped up, they've been forerunners in this, they've been pioneers really.
Our CQA program has been around since 1998, the majority of the Canadian production is on the CQA program.
That means an awful lot.
Young acknowledges the Canadian pork industry will not be the biggest supplier of pork in the world, our goal is to be the best and if we're the best, we can command better prices.