Industry Partners

Prairie Swine Centre is an affiliate of the University of Saskatchewan

Prairie Swine Centre is grateful for the assistance of the George Morris Centre in developing the economics portion of Pork Insight.

Financial support for the Enterprise Model Project and Pork Insight has been provided by:

Author(s): Western Hog Journal
Publication Date: July 12, 2011
Reference: Spring 2008


Soaring pork imports – estimated to be 25% higher in 2008 – have heightened the need for more consumer awareness of the origin of the pork that they purchase.  Pork Marketing Canada (PMC) recently announced that it had obtained funding of almost $1.4 million for its Canadian Pork initiative, which is aimed at increasing sales of Canadian pork.  A new “Canadian Pork” label will be used to identify the product in participating grocery stores.

 “Shoppers now have the choice to choose Canadian,” says Roy Kruse, Manager of Pork Marketing Canada.  “Until this label, consumers didn’t know whether or not the pork they found at their local meat counter was imported or Canadian.  The new label gives them the opportunity to identify and choose Canadian pork over imports.”

 The PMC initiative is supported by studies that show Canadian consumers will choose Canadian products over imports if given the choice.  “Canadians want high-quality foods that are safe and produced under environmentally sustainable practices”, notes Kruse. “More and more, they want to buy Canadian.”  A study by the Canadian Federation of Agriculture found that 90% of Canadian consumers felt Canadian-grown product should be easily identifiable in stores.  Further, 95% of consumers would prefer to buy Canadian-grown product that is competitively priced.

 These findings are consistent with an Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada study that found the quality of food produced in Canada is viewed as better than food produced in other countries. Canadian consumers continue to believe that Canada has better production practices and standards and more rules and regulations than other countries.  “Not surprisingly, the demand for local food continues to rise,” explains Kruse.  “With heightened concerns for the environment and an increasing focus on food safety, people are more interested than ever in the food on their plate.”

 In western Canada, participating stores initially include Save On Foods, Overwaitee and Safeway.  “It is hoped more retailers will come on board as time goes on,” says Kruse.  Also, some Maple Leaf Foods fresh pork products will be labelled Canadian in retail stores where Maple Leaf Foods fresh pork products are carried.  Labels will be on fresh pork products from early April onwards.  “The assumption is that consumers will choose Canadian product over other options if pork is clearly labelled,” Kruse believes.

 The labelling initiative will be supported by an ongoing media campaign to improve consumer awareness.  “This campaign is about people as much as it is about pork,” says Kruse.  “The campaign will focus on the positive aspects of Canadian pork producers, their high quality product and their contribution to Canadian society and its economy.”

 Pork Marketing Canada expects the “Canadian Pork” label campaign to help boost sales of Canadian pork and help to mitigate some of the financial issues faced by the industry.

 Pork Marketing Canada is a national marketing initiative of provincial pork organizations across Canada.  The purpose of this alliance is to increase the consumption of Canadian pork by partnering with packers, processors, retailers and food service distributors and operators. Pork Marketing Canada offers expertise, information and funding towards programs that promote pork, and further develop sales.  For more information, visit

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