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Welcoming Alberta’s Long-Term Livestock Strategy

by 5m Editor
9 June 2008, at 11:09am

ALBERTA - Alberta Pork, the organization representing pork producers in the province, says the recent announcement by Alberta Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development George Groeneveld of a long-term strategy and $356 million in funding support for the province’s livestock industry, is welcome news.

“This announcement provides critical financial and moral support for our province’s industry at a time when producers are hard hit,“ says Herman Simons, Alberta Pork chairman and Tees, Alta. pork producer. “More importantly, it lays the groundwork for working together to build a more competitive industry in the longer term.“

The pork industry is already taking steps to rebuild for the future, says Simons. It has hired independent consultants to develop a pork industry revitalization strategy. That effort, led by management consultants Toma and Bouma and the agricultural think tank, the George Morris Centre, was introduced to pork producers at two industry meetings a week ago.

The Alberta pork revitalization 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 goal is 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.

“While we recognize there are many details yet to be worked out to implement the government’s new strategy, we are very supportive of the intent of the effort,“ says Simons. “For example, the goal to build around eight specific priorities such as enhancing the value chain and refocusing efforts to achieve a sustainable and competitive livestock industry, is in keeping with our vision.“

“We’ve said we need to lead our industry in a new way,“ says Simons. “Government has indicated it will work closely with the livestock industry to implement these changes and we welcome that spirit of working together as stakeholders to rebuild for a realistic future.

"Minister Groeneveld has also indicated these changes will not be easy but they are necessary and our organization agrees on both points,“ he adds.

5m Editor