OTTAWA, ONTARIO – The Canadian Pork Council recognized the efforts of the Canadian government and Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, in particular, during the past year to maintain global confidence in Canadian pork.

Serious misunderstandings surrounding the safety of pork existed due to the initial inaccurate naming of H1N1 Influenza A as swine flu. The impact of the world pandemic caused by the H1N1 virus delayed the prospects for price recovery in last year's hog markets and had the potential to severely affect Canadian pork exports.

"The Canadian government was quick to act on behalf of the Canadian pork industry by effectively coordinating department actions to minimize market disruptions and quickly resolve issues that did occur." said Jurgen Preugschas, chair of the Canadian Pork Council. "H1N1 was the latest blow to an industry that has faced serious challenges over the past few years, including high feed costs, high exchange rates and U.S. public policies."

Mr. Ritz and then Minister of International Trade Stockwell Day and their officials were thanked by Canada’s pork industry for their dedication and hard work with international governments to encourage decisions based on current and accurate information.

Canada is the world's third-largest pork exporter and represents 20% of world pork trade. In 2009, Canadian pork was exported to more than 110 countries.