CANADA - A marketing rep with h@ms Marketing Services says the presence of Thunder Creek Pork has been an important factor in providing the competition necessary to improve live hog prices in western Canada, writes Bruce Cochrane.
Last week Thunder Creek Pork invited producers who supply hogs to its Moose Jaw pork plant the opportunity to see how those hogs are processed.
H@ms Marketing Services has been providing services, including forward contracting, to Hutterite Colonies and a few independents who deliver to the plant since it opened in 2011, and currently accounts for about 90 per cent of the hogs the plant processes.
Andy Cardy, a marketing representative with h@ms Marketing Services, says the hog industry in Canada is strong with a good base of farmers that are producing good quality hogs that easily compete on the export market, but keeping up with the volumes needed to meet processing capacity has been a challenge.
Andy Cardy-h@ms Marketing Services:
Hogs are not growing a lot in Western Canada.
In Manitoba we've seen a moratorium which has more or less stunted that so it's really a shell game.
Some other packer is losing that production to come to some other packer.
Thunder Creek, because of its geographic location to some of the colonies, is an added bonus.
Maple Leaf has come back and addressed that with some increased monies for freight so they are definitely are trying to hold onto those hogs.
Producers are benefiting because an extra packer of any size, although Thunder Creek is small, is still an extra packer and it does create that competition that's needed to keep the packers paying fairly for those hogs and it has benefited definitely the colonies and farmers that are geographically located to Thunder Creek because of the freight costs and moving those hogs across western Canada.
Mr Cardy said that up until the last two years, the market hadn't provided a lot of incentive for producers to expand hog numbers but now we could see some growth.
He noted we have been seeing Manitoba colonies splitting into Saskatchewan for that reason.
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