Pork industry awaiting decision on promotion agency

The move is part of a growing push for producer-funded promotion 
and research agencies throughout the ag sector

The Canadian pork industry is eagerly awaiting pending approval for a farmer-funded promotion and research agency.

It would be close in design to the existing Canada Beef agency for the cattle business, and is part of a push from a variety of sectors, including strawberry and raspberry producers, to create similar agencies.

The Canadian Pork Council (CPC) is waiting for the Farm Products Council of Canada to conclude its study of the proposal.

CPC’s Gary Stordy said the FPCC board has to approve the proposal, which received widespread support among pig farmers and processors during public hearings in January and February. Then it will be presented to Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay for government approval.

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Neil Ketilson, Saskatchewan Pork Development Board general manager, said there is support from producer groups across Canada for the national pork agency.

Swine Innovation chairman Stewart Cressman says his group also supports the proposed agency because a national levy on pork would put the Canadian industry on an equal footing with that of the U.S. Innovation Pork.

“The new agency would administer the collection and distribution of a national levy collected on the sale of pork, including pork imported from other countries, primarily the United States,” he said.

The proposal would give the industry the tools for collecting those funds, and would provide oversight into how they were dispersed for both domestic and foreign promotions.

“This is a way of ensuring that pork that is flowing into the country from outside countries and primarily the U.S., that they would pay in an equal fashion,” Cressman said.

“It mirrors what happens to Canadian pork that is exported from Canada into the U.S. or live hogs that are exported from Canada into the U.S.”

Pork producers in nine provinces already fund market promotion, development and research activities. While these efforts have been successful, the group says issues are becoming more complex and interwoven, making a national co-ordinated approach the best one.

A national agency would be better able to fund domestic and export market promotion initiatives as well as increased animal science and technical research aimed at improving production efficiencies and competitiveness of pork in domestic and foreign markets, industry groups say.

Meanwhile FPCC chairman Laurent Pellerin says one of the agency’s priorities is to work toward the creation of national promotion and research agencies.

He told a recent presentation to the Chicken Farmers of Canada (CFC) that the agency was looking forward to the CFC’s proposal for a chicken promotion and research agency.

In its 2015 annual report, CFC chairman Dave Janzen said establishing an agency like this is a longer-term objective of the group and consultations with provincial groups are in the works for later this year.

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