CANADA - The chair of Sask Pork says western Canada is uniquely positioned to take advantage of underutilized pork processing capacity, writes Bruce Cochrane.
Western Canadian pork processors have been looking for increased hog production to meet their processing capacity.
Sask Pork chair Florian Possberg told those attending the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board annual meeting Wednesday from 2007 to 2013 the industry was really challenged in terms of profitability and any interest in n new construction disappeared so the challenge today is to stimulate renewal to maintain the level of production required to remain sustainable long term.
Florian Possberg-Saskatchewan Pork Development Board:
What makes western Canada unique is it's one of the only places in North America that really does have excess slaughter capacity.
If we look to eastern Canada they're wondering where they're gong to slaughter their existing production much less any increases and it's much the same in large part in the United States.
We do have very good processing capacity in western Canada that we could really process a lot more hogs than we produce.
I think we have a provincial government that is much more enthusiastic about livestock production than particularly the province to the east of us.
I think, quite frankly, being positioned between Alberta and Manitoba is good for us.
There's a major plant in Alberta at Red Deer.
As well there's a couple significant plants in western Manitoba, that Saskatchewan is really in an excellent position geography wise to fill those plants.
Possberg when you combine the slaughter capacity which nobody else in North America has with the space we have to produce safe high health animals, we have the potential for Saskatchewan's pork industry to become a growth industry again.
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