Phase One of Revitalization Plan Launched

CANADA - Alberta’s pork industry, fighting an unprecedented financial crisis, is searching aggressively around the world and outside the pork industry in order to build a realistic plan for long-term revitalization.
calendar icon 6 May 2008
clock icon 4 minute read

“Our industry is in an immediate crisis and we continue to deal with that,” says Herman Simons, Alberta Pork chairman and Tees, Alberta pork producer. “But there is also a pressing need to move quickly in order to find new ways to lead the industry over the long term.

“For that reason, Alberta Pork is developing a plan of action for producers. The first report, called ‘The Way Forward,’ is a summary of findings from independent consultants who have studied models of success in pork industries around the world, as well as companies and industries that have faced similar circumstances and rose to the occasion. This summary of findings will form the basis for the long-term strategic plan.

“This strategy is about leading the industry in a new way, not simply managing the status quo, nor building on long-term financial support from government,” says Simons. “There is definitely not a ‘silver bullet’ or ‘one size fits all’ solution for pork producers who have individual needs and challenges. There are clearly no easy or simple solutions and we know that not all producers are going to survive.”

To develop the strategy, Alberta Pork retained Toma & Bouma Management Consultants and the George Morris Centre, who in turn consulted with appropriate resources both nationally and internationally.

The first pillar of this new revitalization strategy, a state of the union report on the Alberta pork industry, is now available to Alberta pork producers. That will be followed shortly by a final report, which will include specific recommendations for long-term changes to the industry in areas such as feed grains, marketing, and industry reorganization of the supply chain, says Simons.

“With other markets succeeding in pork, the consultants looked beyond the Canadian pork industry for models of success,” says Simons. “Five different pork value chains are examined, all of which are examples of well-organized and systematic approaches to production, processing and marketing.”

The consultants also studied industries and businesses outside the pork industry that have faced similar situations. “Those examples, which include forestry, Toyota, the wine industry and the New Zealand dairy industry, provide several guidelines,” says Simons. “Key among them is that to simply survive requires a competitive level of organizational efficiency and operational excellence. They also highlight how imperative it is to commit to a long-term vision and strategy.

“For the pork industry to succeed we need to learn from these guidelines and change our industry accordingly.”

A Special Report summary of the first 180-page report is being mailed to producers. A similar summary will be prepared in conjunction with the consultants’ final document. “This first publication, ‘The Way Forward’ report, is not the strategy itself,” says Simons. “Rather, it provides the background and in-depth understanding required to build a realistic plan to revitalize the industry. To find the solution, you first have to fully understand the problem.”

Further Reading

More information - You can view the full report, The Way Forward, by clicking here. (PDF Format)
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