The final US mandatory Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) rule issued earlier this month is likely to reduce shipments of live Canadian hogs to the United States, but increase exports of finished Canadian pork. Enforcement of the rule begins in April.
“My expectation is we’re probably going to see fewer hogs coming south into the United States and more pork,” says Dr Ron Plain, University of Missouri (USA) economist. “In fact, we seem to be trending up a little bit in hog slaughter in Canada,” he says in Farmscape online.
“I think when we look at the complications associated with record keeping and labelling and verifying the correct label that lots of times it’s going to end up more sensible and lower cost to slaughter hogs in Canada and send the pork south already labelled than it will be to send the hogs south,” Plain says.
“If you try to handle animals from more than one country on the same day, it becomes a real record keeping segregation challenge unless you’re going to just label it all US and Canada, so a lot of plants are wanting to go with only one label,” he adds.