The federal government announced the creation of the Canadian Pork Promotion and Research Agency (PRA).
"Canadian pork farmers will greatly benefit from the new Canadian Pork Promotion and Research Agency which will help to promote the marketing and production of pork, develop new markets for producers, and support research activities. We will continue to work closely with the industry to ensure our hard-working producers have the tools they need to thrive in the global marketplace," said Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.
The government says pork producers and processors are expected to benefit greatly from the promotional and research activities, especially as producers cope with impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The PRA will allow producers to take full advantage of the increased market opportunities, both domestic and international. As a result of recent trade deals, producers have preferential access to two-thirds of the world market. The Agency will also help mitigate and manage the potential risks of African swine fever by investing in research activities that could boost on-farm biosecurity and surveillance.
Canadian Pork Council Chair Rick Bergmann says the program was about nine years in the making.
"Producers across Canada welcome the establishment of the Pork Promotion and Research Agency (PRA)," he commented. "The PRA will be an important vehicle for producers – it will help facilitate even greater collaboration across the value chain through increased research and promotion activities. In the long run, it will result in improving the long-term growth and competitiveness of the sector."
It is estimated that the fully-functioning agency will provide an additional $2 million for research and promotion.
The creation of a national levy system will underpin the PRA's activities. Levies will also be collected on imported pork products, at a rate that is no more than the minimum levy paid by producers across the country.
Similar agencies exist in other markets that have been successful, like the Canadian Beef Check-Off Agency that generates about $7.5 million each year towards funding initiatives that help beef producers expand their markets and increase sales.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Farm Products Council of Canada (FPCC) have been working closely with the Canadian Pork Council to help establish the PRA.