According to the Canadian Pork Council (CPC), producers across the country now expect to lose CAD$30 to $50 a hog for every hog they sell in 2020, costing farmers across the country $675m dollars.
During a virtual press conference on the issue, the CPC said that coronavirus has pushed the pork sector into freefall by disrupting supply chains and driving down prices and warned that the market devastation caused by the disease will only increase as the pandemic drags on.
“We are asking the government for an emergency payment of $20/hog so that pork producers can continue to pay bills, feed pigs and keep producing food for Canadian families” said Canadian Pork Council chair Rick Bergmann. “Without it, family farms will be lost. In turn we will continue to see disruption in the food supply chain, and increased food insecurity as supplies tighten and food becomes even more expensive.”
The Canadian Pork Council has been working with government officials to impress upon them the seriousness and the urgency of the situation and demand swift action.
“Governments don’t need to reinvent the wheel, they have the tools to fix this problem,” added Bergmann. “They need the political will to do it.”
The Canadian government was criticised for saying food security is a priority, but the CPC said they have offered little concrete support for Canada’s food producers.
It was stressed that Canadians risk seeing food shortages if governments do not step forward with the support farmers need to keep producing food before the end of the month.
“Pork producers can simply not afford to continue raising animals under these conditions,” said CPC 1st vice-chair René Roy. “We love what we do, and love being able to feed people a safe, high-quality protein, but we feel very lonely shouldering the impact of this global crisis.”