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Pork Revitalization Plan Presented to Producers

by 5m Editor
26 May 2008, at 12:56pm

ALBERTA - The final draft report on the Alberta pork industry’s revitalization strategy is near completion and details will be presented to the province’s pork producers at two open industry meetings the week of May 26.

“This strategy is about leading our industry in a new way,” says Herman Simons, Alberta Pork chairman and Tees, Alta. pork producer. “It’s called ‘The Way Forward’ because our industry is in unprecedented distress and we believe that we need to develop new options if pork producers are to survive this distress and have sustained profitability in the future.”


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"The Alberta Pork board has reviewed the draft document, but before we move through final approval, we wanted to give producers an opportunity for direct input. This will be important as we work together with industry stakeholders to implement this strategy."
Herman Simons, Alberta Pork chairman and Tees, Alta. pork producer

The strategy was developed by Toma and Bouma Management Consultants and the George Morris Centre, who in turn consulted with appropriate resources both nationally and internationally. The first pillar of this broad analysis, a state-of-the-union report, has been completed and made available to producers. The report, entitled “The Way Forward, The Situation Assessment of the Alberta Pork Industry,” outlines the situation the industry faces and reviews developments from around the world as a basis for evaluating new options.

“The second pillar report, which is just being released, is the actual strategy for moving ahead with repositioning our product in the marketplace,” says Simons. “The Alberta Pork board has reviewed the draft document, but before we move through final approval, we wanted to give producers an opportunity for direct input. This will be important as we work together with industry stakeholders to implement this strategy.”

The strategy vision, he says, is a highly connected pork industry capable of delivering differentiated, high quality, safe pork products in a sustained manner, with the flexibility to respond to continually changing markets and market conditions. The strategy seeks to move the industry out of the highly competitive and unprofitable production of low-cost bulk pork products. Instead, the industry focus will be on producing high-value pork products in demand by consumers in domestic and global niche markets.

The repositioning strategy basically covers four areas, says Simons. First is to establish system integrity in production, processing and marketing to create a highly connected industry through proactively managed supply chains between the processing sector and producers.

Second is to develop new product marketing capability, the establishment of new business-to-business skill sets that develop long-term supply relationships with a set of targeted markets and customers.

Third is to address cost challenges by developing strategies to reduce the two major cost items facing pork production: feed grains and labour.

Finally, the goal is to create a favourable business environment, ensuring that the industry has the necessary public and private services, tools and instruments to successfully compete in a global meat industry.

“We realize this is not an easy path to the future for pork producers and that there are no simple solutions to our challenges,” says Simons. “However, the report has identified several strengths within our industry and we have confidence in the ability of our producers and processors to work toward capturing those in a realistic fashion.

“These meetings are another opportunity to hear directly from producers and industry. We will also be providing a summary overview of this report to all producers shortly, and welcome their comments at any time. Once the plan is accepted by our board we will work to develop operational and implementation details.”

5m Editor