By Bruce Cochrane
The chair of Sask Pork says funds collected from a proposed national check-off on imported pork products will help further research in Canada.
The federal government has scheduled public hearings across Canada to discuss the prospects of placing a national check-off on imported pork products.
Florian Possberg, the chair of the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board, notes pork products move freely across the border so a lot of Canadian pork is sold in the U.S. and a lot of U.S. product comes into Canada.
Florian Possberg-Saskatchewan Pork Development Board:
In the case of our product going to the U.S. pork has a check-off.
They have a national check-off scheme there and the funds there of course are used to support research and promotion of pork products in the U.S.
We have not had the same on imported pork from various countries, mostly from the U.S.
Our producers that market pork within Canada, there's a check-off on live hogs that support research in Canada but really the pork coming in, although there's a check-off going to the U.S. there was no check-off on that pork coming from the U.S. to Canada.
So we've determined that there's a lot of good that comes from check-off funds and it was time that we had the same opportunity to collect check-off funds from American product coming into Canada as they do to our product.
We've been working on this for probably 4 years.
There's a lot of technical things that need to happen in order for it to become reality but we're finally getting to the point now where we're at the end of the game and can have a reciprocating check-off.
Possberg says funds to support research are very hard to find and are very limited so these funds will be very strategic and will provide many dollars returned on every dollar invested.