THE survival of the pig industry is under threat, claims the Fiji Pig Farmers Association.
Association chairman Simon Cole said in a statement that Fiji had developed a pig industry capable of providing food security in pork consumption, effectively competing with imported pork products in an open and fair marketplace.
Mr Cole said this had been achieved through an investment in excess of $16 million that had resulted in an industry that now produced 80 per cent of all pork products.
"But recently, the market has been distorted with the indirect entry of bacon made in Australia from subsidised Canadian pork that sells far below the very best price the industry can offer," he claimed.
He claimed that Canadian pork was sold to Australia, where it was processed and then exported to Fiji with an Australian brand label and at a lower price than Fiji could offer. He said subsidised Canadian pork was priced at 60 per cent of the Australian farm gate pork price.
"Compare this with non-subsidised pork in Fiji, that costs 10 per cent more than the Australian produce. We can compete against Australian pork and are proud that we can hold our own against this international competition. But against subsidised pork, that is a different story," he said.
Mr Cole said FPFA would be forced to ask the government to review its duty on imported pork if products from subsidised overseas processing companies continue to enter the country.
"Fiji faced the same danger to its chicken industry and responded by increasing its import duties to 32 per cent. That industry is thriving. We do not want protection if the playing field is level but when we are facing overseas subsidised pork products, then for the survival of the industry, we must see," said Mr Cole.