Pork producers have lost $ 6 million a week since June
China’s halt in imports of Canadian pork has caused Quebec producers a shortfall of $ 6 million a week since June.
Thisis the figure advanced by the Office of the Minister of Agriculture, André Lamontagne, in response to a question from La Presse canadienne regarding the effects of the trade crisis on Quebec producers.
The minister’s press secretary, Laurence Voyzelle, however, was unable to explain where this figure came from, inviting the press agency to make an access to information request to obtain the information. .
“The data belongs to third parties, so we are not allowed to disclose,” she said, after having mentioned that the interlocutor would be “the industry of pork exporters in Quebec.”
As a result, no one, nor the Pork Breeders of Quebec, nor Olymel, nor Canada Pork International, has taken over the $ 6 million figure put forward by the Minister’s Office.
On August 30, Minister Lamontagne issued a news release calling on the federal government to act quickly to protect the competitiveness of the pork and grain sectors. He refused the interview request from The Canadian Press.
What exactly are we asking from Ottawa? “For Minister Lamontagne, the federal government must ensure that conditions and a favorable environment are in place to protect the competitiveness of businesses and processors,” says Ms. Voyzelle.
No question at the moment to quantify the aid claimed. “We will wait for the results of the commissioned studies to get a better picture of the help needed,” she added.
However, on June 26, Prime Minister François Legault said he was “angry” and ready to call for a financial assistance program in Ottawa.
Meanwhile, the situation is turning to “disaster” on farms in Quebec, says David Duval, president of Quebec Pork Breeders, an association with 2,800 members.
While American producers receive a generous compensation program, “we received zero, but a big zero,” he denounced in an interview broadcast Monday.
“My father, in 1975, sold his piglet the same price I sell today,” he said. The tumble continues and we do not have a lifeline.
“When my house starts to burn, I’d like to see the fire department arrive. I’m not sure they’re going to put out the fire, but at least I’m glad to see the firefighters coming. But there, I do not even have firefighters, I do not even have the suspicion that they answered the phone, “he pestered.
In addition, the climate of uncertainty hanging over pork producers currently prevents them from investing for the future and training succession, according to Duval.
Canada Pork International figures the impact of the conflict on Canadian producers at $ 265 million. Its director of communications, Sophie Lamontagne, however, was unable to break this amount down.
For its part, Olymel considers that the commercial crisis has effects “very important” on its turnover, according to the spokesman of the company, Richard Vigneault.
Last spring, Beijing said it identified some gaps in the Canadian product certification process. Chinese customs officers reportedly found traces of ractopamine, a prohibited substance in 160 countries, in a shipment of pork products from Canada.
Chinese imports of pork from Quebec reached $ 277.8 million in 2018. For the first six months of 2019, China was the largest destination for Quebec pork exports in terms of quantity and value. Some 26,500 jobs depend on the hog industry in the province.
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