Pork producers go through an “exceptional crisis”

Since June, the slaughterhouse price to pork producers for their livestock has dropped by almost 50%, something that has not been seen in 20 years. Farmers are calling for help to find solutions to better respond to market fluctuations.

“There are producers who are questioning their business. Producers are dissatisfied and there is a lot of concern, “says Louis-Philippe Roy, President of the Deux-Rives Pork Breeders.

We must go back to 1998 to witness such a significant drop in the price of pork on the market. Out of breath, the producers then dropped their animals on Highway 20 near Drummondville to capture the attention of governments.

If such a big deal is not envisaged today, the producers nevertheless request the support of the Quebec government to help them, notably by improving the Assurace stabilization of farm incomes.

“It’s 26,000 jobs in Quebec. It’s spinoffs of billions. It’s with numbers that we are fighting now, “says the producer of Saint-Michel-de-Bellechasse.

The crisis is particularly difficult for independent producers who are not integrated into a sector like Du Breton or Olymel, companies with their own slaughterhouses. Farmers will not be able to survive in the long run at the price slaughterhouses are offering them at the moment.

“Of course, with a price of $ 110 per 100 kilograms, producers do not cover their production costs. Since then, the price has risen a bit, but at a level that leaves hog producers in difficulty, “says professor of agroeconomics at Laval University, Daniel-Mercier Gouin.

Business disputes
Since 2009, the price of pork in Quebec has been appended to that of the Americans. Two factors, however, explain the fall that began in June.

The first is that US slaughterhouses are currently operating at full capacity, resulting in an imbalance of supply and demand.

The second is the trade war between China and Donald Trump’s administration. This political conflict has created new tariff barriers, particularly in the pork industry.

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