Farmscape for June 2, 2009
An Ontario pork producer is urging the Canadian public to think about where they want the pork they eat to come from and to ask their grocers where it comes from.
The Canadian pork industry is entering its fourth year of non profitability resulting from high feed costs, the strong dollar, reduced access to credit, U.S. Country of Origin Labelling and H1N1.
Southwestern Ontario pork producer Teresa Van Raay has written an open letter to all Canadian Consumers who eat which outlines the situation facing her and her fellow pork producers and appeals to consumers to consider the origin of their food.
She says sometimes it takes a crisis for people to stand up and be heard and the pork industry is at that critical point.
Clip-Teresa Van Raay-Ontario Pork Producer
What I ask of the consumers is to ask for Canadian pork, choose the "Buy Canadian" label.
If they're unable to read where it comes from to ask where the product is coming from.
Asking for truth in labelling to help our consumers make an educated choice and it's easy enough as long as the imported products follow the regulations and that the retailers do this at the grocery counter.
We just need to ask.
When we buy Canadian you know what you're buying.
Canadian has very high standards, we have a lot of protocols in place with regard to feeding and animal care and transporting animals, environment and very high food safety and quality standards.
There's a lot of economic connections to agriculture.
It's not just the farmer.
It's seed companies, the vets, genetic companies, the farm equipment dealers, retailers and that's just to mention a couple in there.
Van Raay points out the pork industry represents 70 thousand jobs in Canada and it generates 7.7 billion dollars in economic activity, 2.1 billion in wages alone.
To access her letter visit farmscape.ca/letter.doc.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork Council