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Ottawa backs plan to highlight Canadian pork

A voluntary program for Canadian processors and retailers to identify Canadian-grown pork on store shelves will get $1.39 million in federal funding.

Southern Ontario MP Gary Schellenberger made the announcement late Friday, saying the project “will provide Canadian families with the information they want to choose home-grown Canadian pork.”

The voluntary program will be available to all retailers and processors, the government said in a release, but its primary target is to be larger retailers, whose pork supply comes from across Canada.

Provincial pork organizations will work together to create a consumer awareness program encouraging Canadians to support domestic pork farmers and the Canadian economy by buying Canadian pork, the government said.

“Consumers deserve choice,” said Curtiss Littlejohn, chairman of Ontario Pork, in Ottawa’s release. “Up until now, consumers didn’t know if the fresh pork they selected from the meat case was Canadian.”

The funds for the project will flow through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Advancing Canadian Agriculture and Agri-Food (ACAAF) program.

“This initiative has the potential to assist every pork producer in Canada by creating more demand for Canadian pork,” said Kim Turnbull, chair of the Agricultural Adaptation Council, which delivers ACAAF funding in Ontario.

The announcement follows the end on Wednesday (June 11) of a public comment period on the federal government’s new regulations for use of the terms “Product of Canada” and “Made in Canada” on food products.

A “Product of Canada” label would allow for little or no foreign content, except, for example, minor additives or spices that can’t be sourced in Canada.

A “Made in Canada” label would be used on a food product made or processed in Canada, regardless of whether the ingredients are imported or domestic or both.

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