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Que. pork packer gets EU approval

Quebec pork processor Les Aliments Lucyporc has become Canada’s first integrated pork packer to earn registration and approval to export pork products to the European Union.

According to the Canadian Pork Council in a release Monday, this approval opens “new market opportunities” for the company, based at Yamachiche, about 25 km west of Trois-Rivieres.

But this approval may mean “potentially more” as the Canadian government begins the preparation of a trade negotiating mandate with the EU, the council said.

The council said it has been following market developments in the EU since the October 2008 Canada-EU Summit to explore an “economic partnership.” The council said it believes at the EU market holds “significant potential” for Canadian pork products.

“The registration of Les Aliments Lucyporc’s plant is not just a great opportunity for the company, but for the entire Canadian hog industry since this plant is the first of what we expect will be several Canadian pork processing plants to be approved for export to the European Union,” said council chair Jurgen Preugschas, who farms at Mayerthorpe, Alta.

Given the recent “rise of protectionist sentiments” in the U.S. during its economic downturn, “the Canadian pork industry, which depends on exports for well over half of its output, needs this and other opportunities to further diversify its exports away from the U.S.,” he said.

Thus, the council said, “we strongly urge the Canadian government engage in negotiations of an ambitious trade and economic agreement” with the EU.

“The rewards for Les Aliments Lucyporc and the Canadian pork industry far outweigh the work and effort it took to become EU-approved,” Preugschas said.

Given the EU’s total population of about 500 million, “the majority of which view pork as their favoured meat, the Canadian industry is making important investments to be able to respond to increasing demand in the EU countries for Canadian pork,” he said.

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