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Saskatchewan Government Remains Committed to Expanded Hog Production and Processing

by 5m Editor
15 November 2006, at 2:21pm

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 2235. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

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Farm-Scape, Episode 2235

Saskatchewan's premier says his government remains committed to working with the hog industry to attract expanded pork production and processing.

In the wake of last month's announcement that Maple Leaf Foods intends to close its Saskatoon hog slaughtering plant, the province's pork industry has begun exploring options for maintaining primary processing capacity.

Premier Lorne Calvert told those on hand last night for Saskatchewan Pork Industry Symposium 2006 the Maple Leaf announcement doesn't change the goal of expanding both hog production and processing in Saskatchewan.

I actually have some real confidence in the industry. It's based on several fundamentals. One the fit is right.

We have this large large land base, 45 percent of all the arable land in Canada and yet a relatively low animal density being supported by this large large land base.

We've got good feedstock, good water supply, good air quality, good environmental quality and have worked with industry to develop what we think is a very good set of regulation and guidance so we've maintained the highest of animal health standards, the highest of environmental standards, the highest of labor standards and yet have seen some very positive growth.

So we think one, the environment is right and good. Number two, why do I have confidence, it's in some ways just the nature of the industry and the people involved in the industry.

The pork industry has seen the fluctuations in price, now the change in the Canadian dollar, the issues we've had with processing. These are people and this is an industry that survives. These are survivors, they're optimistic people, they're hopeful and my confidence in the industry is really based on the people who are the industry in this province.

Calvert notes the province is now reviewing its meat strategy. He says given Saskatchewan's many advantages returns on investment can be very healthy and he is confident someone will capitalize on the opportunity.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor