Swine Producers Encouraged to Adapt to Change while Maintaining Economic Efficiency

by 5m Editor
3 December 2004, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1659. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1659

A Humboldt area swine producer says the hog industry must be ready to adapt to changing consumer demands while doing so for less money.

Big Sky Farms General Manager of Production John Leclare says margins in the pork industry, as with other commodities, have been trending downward for the past 25 years while, at the same time, consumers have become more demanding.

"Clearly as an industry we're being pressed from both sides. We're being pressed on the economics, the lower margins that are trending down, and yet at the same time we're dealing with a consumer that is looking for not just a protein source but looking for something that is an enjoyable eating experience.

We need to have this inexpensive wholesome product on the one hand and yet we know that our industry is being scrutinized, not only ours but all the others, about the style of our production, what impact it has on the environment, how are the animals treated, handled, moved, cared for, fed, even what they're fed.

I think, from the producers point of view, we need to have a very efficient barn with the right kind of genetics and environment and then say, 'OK the reason we have this is to produce a food product that's going to be competitive,' and really plan your operations and make sure that you're not doing things that can or would impact the value when it's finally on the shelf or in the restaurant."

Leclare says producers need to wrap their heads around the fact that they aren't raising pigs, they're producing a food product.

He says consumers have a multitude of choices so pork producers need to ensure their product will be viewed as being safe, providing a better eating experience and nutritional value and being easy to prepare.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor