Premium Product Development Will Aid Ontario Industry

US - Last year was possibly the worst for Ontario's pig industry. Commentators say it was very inauspicious - many dubbing it the consequence of a 'perfect storm'.
calendar icon 11 February 2008
clock icon 3 minute read
"In China, imported pork is actually seen as a premium... wealthy consumers want to buy imported products."

Wilma Jeffray, Vice Chair, Ontario Pork

Speaking at the Ontario Pork Association's Annual General Meeting in Walkerton last week, Vice Chair Wilma Jeffray said that the industry is suffering through the worst period it's ever had. The price to producers in the past six months has fallen to $50 below the cost of production, says a report in The Sun Times.

High feed prices, the soaring Canadian dollar and too many American hogs have come together to drive down sale prices.

"For Canadian producers, the value of the Canadian dollar has had quite an impact on the ability of the industry to export. It has changed the economic dynamic of the whole industry in the export market and it just shows there's a lot of work to be done to work on efficiencies on the farm and in processing as well," she added.

She believed that the pork industry now must look at product development and strive to position pork in a higher price market - and especially to the affluent Chinese consumers.

"Imported pork is actually seen as a premium there because they don't have confidence in their own food safety system, so wealthy consumers want to buy imported products," said Jeffray.

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