Farmscape for October 4, 2016
The recently retired Executive Director of the Canadian Pork Council says the biggest change he has seen in the pork industry has been its increased focus on trade.
Martin Rice, who retired earlier this year after 30 years as Executive Director of the Canadian Pork Council, was presented last week with the Canadian Meat Council's 2016 President's Award.
Rice says the U.S. Canada trade negotiations in the late 1980's were crucial in that they caused the pork industry to focus on its trade interests.
Clip-Martin Rice-Canadian Pork Council:
Initially it was fairly cautious about a Canada U.S. trade deal.
From that point forward I think the industry has clearly seen its interest in having a heavy involvement in trade and taking advantage of what is an enormously favorable production situation, production advantages that Canada has.
We've got an excellent animal health situation and, without a good animal health status, it's impossible to be successful in the world pork industry.
Our status would be, certainly, among the top two or three in the world.
But we also have excellent genetics, excellent quality and an excellent situation in terms of feed stuffs.
Our grains and oilseeds supply is also world competitive so it enables us to have a very good set of circumstances from an economics, from a food safety and animal health point of view, we do have well developed and well regarded food safety standards.
Canada has a reputation around the world which is opening the door.
It doesn't assure us of export success but it opens the door for a lot of opportunities that we can take advantage of.
Rice acknowledges it's not clear whether some key trade agreements will get implemented and the industry will need to keep a close watch on what happens with the TPP but he does see opportunities for expanding trade in the longer term.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork