For Immediate Release
December 4, 2008 (Guelph, ON) - The Ontario Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) is pleased with the Government of Canada’s December 1st announcement that they are requesting consultations with the United States concerning the implementation in the United States of mandatory Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) regulations for meat products.
OCA President Gord Hardy said that this was the direction that industry had asked the government to take following meetings in Ottawa in early November. “I would like to thank Ministers Ritz and Day for showing leadership on this file, and standing up for me and my fellow producers in Ontario,” Hardy stated. “Implementation of these regulations is damaging producers in Ontario. We see this as another artificial trade barrier being erected to appease protectionist forces within the US. We intend to honour our trade agreements, and we sincerely hope that the United States will as well.”
The impact of the COOL regulations is estimated to cost approximately $90 per animal in Canada regardless of whether or not they are exported to the United States. Ontario’s producers have continually made improvements in production efficiencies, food safety and traceability to compete in global markets. Despite these improvements the Ontario beef industry continues to suffer from the last year of escalating farm input costs and low prices, government regulations and ethanol policy, and restricted trade access. Implementation of COOL will further challenge the competitiveness our industry.
The Ontario Cattlemen’s Association is a grassroots organization, formed in 1963, to promote the interests of Ontario’s 19,000 cattle producers.
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For more information contact:
Gord Hardy, OCA President: (519) 227-1113
Lianne Appleby, OCA Communications Manager: (519) 824-0334