Hog Producers Hardest Hit by BSE and Strong Dollar

by 5m Editor
19 January 2004, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1427. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

Manitoba Pork Council

Farm-Scape is sponsored by
Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork

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Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council
and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1427

The head of Manitoba's hog marketing co-op says the effects of mad cow disease and the strong dollar may be taking their biggest toll on hog producers.

The BSE incident last May prompted Canadian consumers to eat more beef and less pork while the rising value of the Canadian dollar made Canadian pork less competitive on the export market.

Manitoba Pork Marketing CEO Perry Mohr says, with the tremendous amount of meat protein available on the market, we've seen values drop impacting both producers and processors.

"The processors have been able to adjust some of their costs to address some of the negative profit margins and unfortunately the producers have not.

What the processors have done in Manitoba is they've lowered the base prices that they're paying. One processor has lowered their base price about the equivalent of ten dollars per pig and the other processor has lowered their base price by about the equivalent of 4.50 per hog.

Unfortunately the producers don't have the same luxury of going to their feed companies and or some of their other suppliers and simply saying, 'we're in tight here and we can't afford to pay what we've been paying you therefore we've got to lower what we're paying you by the equivalent of five to ten dollars per pig' so the producer's got no choice but to take less money for their pigs".

Mohr says the beef industry has received a lot of attention, and deservedly so, but consumers, the media, the government need to realize pork producers might be in worse shape.

He says pork producers have incurred three consecutive years of negative margins and liquidations are taking place because people simply can't afford to stay in the business any longer.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor