Sunday, May 16, 2010

Great News for Pork Producers

China begins accepting U.S. pork shipments
May 14, 2010 by Ken Anderson
Brownfield Ag News

China has given official notice that it is again accepting shipments of U.S. pork.

The Chinese closed their market to U.S. pork in late April 2009 in the wake of an outbreak in humans of novel H1N1 influenza, which the media misnamed “swine” flu. In March, the U.S. and China reached an agreement to reopen the Chinese markets to U.S. pork imports, but it took China until now to begin accepting product.

National Pork Producers Council president Sam Carney of Adair, Iowa calls it “tremendous news for U.S. pork producers.” Carney says with that issue resolved, NPPC will now focus on the remaining impediments to exporting U.S. pork to China. Those include China’s ban on U.S. pork produced with ractopamine, an FDA-approved feed ingredient that improves efficiencies in pork production—subsidies China provides its domestic pork producers—and a value-added tax it imposes on imports. Read what the Pork Network has to say.

If you think the media has no effect on businesses, think again. Because the media nicknamed the H1N1 virus "swine" flu pork shipments to China came to a screeching halt--worth nearly $690 million in 2008. These kinds of mishaps, though seemingly harmless, have drastic consequences that affect us all. When Ag hurts, the consumer hurt. These little things trickle down the line and eventually end up costing you a lot more at the grocery store. Because of the H1N1 nickname, HSUS has jumped all over this opportunity to attack animal agriculture. They have links with hints like "Find out where swine flu originated. (Hint: think factory farms)." This kind of misleading information is harmful to agribusinesses everywhere and I don't just mean the corporations, either.

Another big misconception is the fact that the word “agribusiness” applies to every farmer out there. Activist groups, like HSUS, use the word "agribusiness" as if it is a bad thing but farming is a business. Farmers do not farm because it is fun, or neat, or they just have a lot of time on their hands. They farm to make money because farming is a business. Yes, we enjoy it but it is hard work and it takes a great deal of money to provide food for our community, our nation, and the world. Agribusiness is farming, period. Moreover, misleading labels like "swine" flu are dangerous to every farming out there.

A little common sense goes a long way.

No comments:

Post a Comment