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U.S. M-COOL continues to create uncertainty for Canadian and U.S. pork industry

Fast Genetics says the uncertainty created by U.S. Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling continues to create problems for pork producers and packers on both sides of the border.

Under U.S. Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling meat originating from pigs born in Canada must be labelled differently than meat from U.S. pigs.

Fast Genetics general manager Shannon Meyers says the company’s business model is set up to sell primarily weaned pigs into the U.S. Midwest and while ups and downs are expected producers need some certainty of a long term plan.

With the announcement last year with COOL looking like it’ll straighten itself out and then May 23 maybe even tougher rules to follow it just creates a whole pattern of uncertainty.

It affects our customers who are weaned pig producers.

It also affects our customers in the U.S. who are buyers of weaned pigs.

They’re looking at this too saying what will this really mean for me over the next six to 12 months.

Will I be able to purchase these pigs?

If I do will the plant that I’m selling to today that is currently saying they probably will work with these pigs, will they when these pigs get to mature markets, so just a whole pile of uncertainty for direct customers.

I think the other aspect for us as a genetic supplier is we have customers on both sides of the border but some of our U.S. customers take production that is born in the U.S. from a genetics perspective.

They’re gilts perhaps born and raised somewhere south of the border.

Those ones are relatively unaffected by all this but we have other customers in the U.S. who will buy gilts for example or breeding stock out of Canada where this also has some implications in terms cull stock and what they do with things that don’t eventually end up in their breeding herd so there’s a secondary effect that is interesting and creating a ripple for us as well.

Meyers says the fact that U.S. producers and packers for the most part don’t like mandatory COOL suggests there’s something inherently wrong with the legislation.

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