Ontario Pork in Canada has teamed up with the provincial cattlemen’s association to campaign for an insurance program that would protect local producers against the worst effects of market fluctuation.

The pork sector in Ontario has seen a decrease of more than 20% in sow numbers since 2007, says Ontario Pork, due to various factors including the high exchange value of the Canadian dollar and its negative effects on meat exports and imports. With multiple economic threats occurring over an extended period of time, the organization declares, the current AgriStability program in the province is not enough on its own to sustain the industry.

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The beef business in Ontario is in a similar predicament, so pork producers and cattlemen say they are ready to partner with the provincial and federal governments to establish insurance arrangements that would protect against market fluctuations and allow all partners to share and limit risk. The proposed insurance program would see local Ontario farmers in the beef and pork industries pay premiums to the government representing 30% of the long-term cost of the insurance program on a voluntary basis. The governments at the province and country levels are being asked to participate according to the traditional 60/40 federal/provincial split.

“Not only would the program offset the difference between the current market price and the average long-term cost of production, it would also eliminate the need for ad hoc government support for both the beef and pork industries in the future,” said Wilma Jeffray, who chairs Ontario Pork.