The chair of the Canadian Pork Council (CPC) says the Retail Council of Canada (RCC) commitment on sow housing provides an opportunity for productive dialog between farmers and retailers.
“As a farmer, my first priority is the care and welfare of the animals. I am proud that my farm helps the Canadian pork industry provide consumers a healthy and safe food supply,” says CPC chair Jean-Guy Vincent. “Any change on farm must be done in a way that protects the welfare of the animals and keeps Canadian farms strong.”
Significant work has been undertaken by the industry in animal care through research, the Animal Care Assessment program and involvement in the National Farm Animal Care Council review of the Code of practice for pigs.
At the same time, the Canadian Pork Council understands that stakeholder expectations are changing.
The RCC announcement recognizes that the conversion of sow housing is a significant investment, which will require support from other stakeholder groups. Not only will substantial capital investments be needed to physically change barns, but also considerable human resource efforts to choose the right system and train stock people to a new way of handing animals.
The CPC looks forward to meeting with RCC to hear its proposals on how changes to sow housing can be managed and how the value chain and others can share in the investment.
RCC grocery members support the Canadian Pork Council’s process to update its Code of Practice and will work toward sourcing fresh pork products from sows raised in alternative housing practices by the end of 2022.
The CPC serves as the national voice for hog producers in Canada representing a federation of nine provincial pork industry associations.
To read the RCC’s full release on its position on sow housing, visit http://www.retailcouncil.org.
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