Allies and Action: Key to Alberta Recovery

ALBERTA - Recruiting allies in industry and government and developing an action plan is key to the survival of the Alberta pork industry, says Jurgen Preugschas, outgoing chairman of Alberta Pork.
calendar icon 11 December 2007
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In a State of the Industry address during the organisation's Annual General Meeting Mr Preugschas outlined a recovery plan for the pork industry.

The sector is currently facing one of its most difficult years on record due to a skyrocketing Canadian dollar, rising feed grain costs driven by the biofuel industry, decreasing processing capacity and a host of other challenges.

The first step in the recovery process is to understand the problem and create awareness.

Jurgen Preugschas says partnership and market development are vital for recovery

"At the government level, this has been an ongoing process that has seen some success, with provincial agreements, for example, for $165 million in the Alberta Farm Industry Recovery Program for all agricultural producers," he explained.

The second step is to encourage partners in industry, which may include working with them to figure out ways to more evenly distribute profit margins throughout the supply chain.

The next steps are to develop and implement an action plan, which is likely to involve the development of export markets and a stronger brand identity for Alberta pork.

Exit trend

With pork production in Alberta dropping dramatically and some producers talking about exiting the industry, Preugschas says the key priority is to gain an assessment of the state of the industry.

"Alberta Pork is in the process of conducting a confidential survey of pork producers throughout Alberta in order to get an idea of producers' current level of hog production activity and their plans for the future," he explained. "The bottom line is that the industry needs to develop a plan for survival over the long-term, adding for a long-term plan to work, the industry needs to survive in the short term."

New AP chairman Herman Simons of Tees will push the recovery plan forward. Jurgen Preugschas, will continue to have a key involvement as its representative and also first vice chair of the Canadian Pork Council.

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