Baconeers, in case you haven’t heard, international trade deals can really affect your bacon. Like, seriously, a lot. Over 110,000 pork industry jobs are dependent on international trade. That’s 20 percent of all pork industry jobs!
This is important because there’s currently a very big trade deal being negotiated: The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This is an agreement we’ve established with Canada and Mexico. All three countries benefit from importing and exporting goods.
This trade agreement supports over 14 million American jobs, and the pork industry is responsible for thousands of these. Without NAFTA, many pig farmers would go out of business, leaving fewer to provide you with your favorite crispy delicacy.
Sadly, the ones who will be affected the most are likely the small, family-owned pig farms.
The latest data available shows family/individual pig farms making up over 81% of total pork industry operations, beating out corporations by a significant margin.
Lots of smaller towns across the country exist solely because of the money and jobs pork trade brings in. As our pork expert Maria Zieba said, “It can be the driver of a whole economy.”
Okay, but what does this actually mean for your bacon?
What we’re likely looking at is a lot of family and individual pig farmers going out of business. And the ones who don’t will feel the strain and may be forced to join with other pig farms.
There’s no telling what this will do to the bacon market. It would be a major shock to the pork trade system, and could result in some expensive changes over the long run.
Free trade agreements like NAFTA are essential to the livelihood of pig farmers all over the country. They rely on trade to keep them financially healthy so they can keep providing you with affordable, nutritious, and delicious bacon. Remember: we export almost no bacon, which means we’re sending out different parts of the pig, bringing in money to help our pig farmer friends produce more happiness bacon for you.
For the good of your favorite crispy delicacy… let them do their jobs.
To help keep your local bacon makers employed, and learn what you can do to help your favorite pig farmers in the future, take our survey below. You’ll also have a chance to win some free bacon 🥓🥓🥓!