SAINT HYACINTHE, QUEBEC – The government of Canada announced plans to invest C$4.6 million ($3.64 million) across three projects to grow the country’s pork industry and help producers protect their animals from African swine fever (ASF). Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau unveiled the funding during the 8th annual Le Porc Show industry conference.

More than C$3.2 million will support efforts by Canada Pork International to undertake export market development initiatives. The organization is tasked with maintaining and improving access to international markets and developing promotional activities and tools to increase market share in priority markets.

Trevor Sears, president and chief executive officer of Canada Pork International, said, “AgriMarketing funding has been fundamental in the development and promotion of a Branding Canada approach to earn consumer trust and build brand equity in Canadian pork products at home and around the globe. This funding will also help us tell the remarkable story of how the Canadian pork industry has grown in a sustainable manner, while contributing directly and indirectly to almost 100,000 jobs in Canada.”

More than C$550,000 will support the Canadian Pork Council’s national marketing activities to increase domestic pork consumption and value. This investment will also support the Council’s work to enhance international relationships and coordination with members across the value chain. Both projects are supported under Canada’s federal AgriMarketing Program.

Finally, Bibeau announced an additional C$850,000 for the Council’s ASF prevention and preparedness efforts. The additional investment builds on previously announced funding of more than C$3.8 million for the Canadian Pork Excellence platform, which integrates three principal on-farm programs: PigSAFE, a food safety and biosecurity program; PigCARE, an animal care program; and PigTRACE, a traceability program. These projects are funded through the federal AgriAssurance Program.

“Our producers’ efforts to make agriculture increasingly sustainable have become a guarantee of quality for Quebec and Canadian pork, which is key to accessing new foreign markets and millions of consumers who seek superior-quality products,” Bibeau said. “Our investments will help producers speed up their shift to more sustainable agriculture, open the door to new markets both here and abroad, and combat threats such as African swine fever.”

Canada is the third-largest pork exporter in the world. The Canadian pork industry exports roughly two thirds of its pork production and live hogs, valued at C$5.4 billion in 2020, to more than 90 countries.