CANADA - The chair of Manitoba Pork is calling on the province's business community to apply pressure on their local MLAs to rethink provincial government policies that have led to a dramatic reduction in the volumes of hogs produced for processing, writes Bruce Cochrane.
As the result of regulations imposed by the Manitoba government in 2011 the number of hogs produced in the province has fallen dramatically, impacting the ability of Manitoba's pork processors to access the volumes of hogs needed to maintain capacity.
Karl Kynoch, the chair of Manitoba Pork, told members of the Brandon Chamber of Commerce yesterday hog production has been a huge contributor to Manitoba's GDP but that economic spin-off is being jeopardized.
Karl Kynoch-Manitoba Pork:
Businesses bring business.
Business brings people and again that turns into more business, more housing, spin-off.
All those people that are working at the Maple Leaf plant, they're all shopping for groceries, they're going to Tim Horton's, they're going to other coffee shops but the spend money in the town of Brandon and when you spend money it just generates the economy and keeps the cycle going.
We've seen that in a lot of towns, that when the businesses disappear then so do the people.
They fade away but Brandon's got a strong business community around here and I think the area that they can help us in, they're also very concerned of, is to try to get some of the MLAs to actually give us an opportunity to come in and educate them, to present all the good positive things that we do to handle manures.
The Manitoba hog producers have been leaders in North America in adapting to new technologies and I think we need to the opportunity to go sit down with the MLAs one on one, give an hour from each one of them and just allow the opportunity to bring them up to speed on all the good things that we do.
I think if our chamber members and members of the public can pressure their MLAs to do that that would be probably one of the biggest things they could do.
Mr Kynoch says the number of hogs produced for processing should have never been allowed to drop as low as it has.
He says, even if new barn construction was approved today, it would still take two years before those barns would be producing hogs.
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