Hog Producers Think Over Exit Plan

CANADA - To stay or go, that’s the decision facing Prince Edward Island. hog producers who gathered Tuesday night to review an exit strategy plan that would reduce numbers through a buyout program, provide funds to stay and give them until June to make the transition.
calendar icon 20 December 2007
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Anthony Nabuurs, shown Wednesday at his Montague-area farm, says Island hog producers are passionate about staying in business. Nabuurs is chairman of the P.E.I. Hog Marketing Board. Pic: Guardian

“It will be a lot less than what we’re losing but the government indication is that they will support this plan,” said Anthony Nabuurs, chair of the P.E.I. Hog Marketing Board.

“It’s an exit strategy for those who want to leave to get out and a stay-in strategy for those who are hoping for a turnaround.”

The estimated $2.8-million plan has been in the works for the past few months and received tacit approval by government. It will go before cabinet for final approval when producers have endorsed the project. Government has already written off about $7 million in loans to the hog industry.

The exit plan consists of three components: one that will buy out producers at $5 a pig based on a year’s worth of production; one that will keep producers in and pay $18 and slide to $4 over a one year period of production; and one in which producers start off on the payment plan and have until June 27 to decide which component to select.

It translates into $20,000 maximum to exit if a producer ships 4,000 pigs or more a year. Staying in means a producer can receive up to $48,000 for the year based on the same production numbers.

“The breathing space comes in the third component since producers have time to think it over,” he said. “Everyone has until June 27 to leave if they wish and who knows what might be happening in the industry then.”

Source: TheGuardian

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