The chairman of Alberta Pork is not worried about the effects of Russia’s ban on food imports from Canada, the U.S. and other western nations.
The one-year ban was announced on imports of meat, fish, milk and dairy products and produce Thursday in retaliation for sanctions imposed on Russia for its support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.
The sanctions will mostly affect Canadian pork producers. Jim Laws of the Canadian Meat Council said effects would be felt immediately.
Alberta Pork chairman Frank Novak, a producer in east-central Alberta, says there is an international shortage of hogs and a strong market for pork from this province.
“If [the Russians] buy it from Brazil, for example, then that means there's that many thousand tonnes of pork that Brazil's not selling to somebody else,” he said.
“Our guys would just sell to those customers.”
Alberta has 375 pork producers. They produce about two million hogs a year, mostly for export.
Laws said that about 1,000 containers full of Canadian pork was ready to send to Russia. The meat could be sent to other markets but that could cost the industry additional money.