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Production Goal of Alberta Pork AGM

by 5m Editor
25 November 2008, at 10:49am

ALBERTA - Alberta pork producers have set aggressive targets to revitalize their industry and the most pressing of those will be the focus of the 2008 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Alberta Pork. It will be held December 10-11 in Calgary at the Coast Plaza Hotel and Conference Centre.

“A number of years ago we set a goal for our AGM to challenge our producers on all aspects of the Alberta pork industry,” says Herman Simons, Tees, Alberta pork producer and chairman of Alberta Pork. “Our goal this year is to hit all of the major issues head-on and offer perspectives that will drive new ideas in Alberta’s pork industry as it reinvents itself in response to ongoing challenges.

“We feel this year’s agenda may feature our strongest set of speakers to date. It’s a fitting cap to a year in which we have launched an aggressive revitalization strategy for the industry.”

An international perspective on strategic trends in world pigmeat markets will be offered by Andrew Cookson, managing director of GIRA Consultancy & Research, a France-based, multinational strategic consultancy and market research firm specializing in the food retail chain. GIRA’s clientele spans Western and Eastern Europe as well as the U.S., where its services have been sought by companies such as Kraft Foods, McDonald’s, Conagra and the United States Department of Agriculture.

Lessons learned from the European Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) outbreak will be shared by Charles Milne, the chief veterinary officer for Scotland. Milne was a driver behind some of the toughest decisions made to slow the FMD outbreaks of 2001 and 2007.

The challenge of delivering the message on animal welfare will be addressed by Dan Murphy, communications strategist with Bellevue, Washington-based Outsource Marketing. Murphy is a self-described “concept specialist” with extensive experience in agricultural media, including the development of Meatingplace.com, a popular food industry news and commentary service. He is the author of the 2007 book “The Meat of the Matter,” a collection of essays on animal rights, meat eating and food industry issues.

Perspective from the leading edge of Canadian consumer research will drive a presentation by Colin Siren, associate director of Ipsos Forward Research. Siren will speak on consumer data and market research in the pork industry. Larry Martin, senior research fellow with the George Morris Centre, will speak on “Another view on a different strategy for Alberta’s pork industry involving environmental attributes.” Martin’s diverse areas of expertise include agri-food marketing and policy, farm and agribusiness management and international agri-food trade.

Additional speakers include Jerry Bouma, who will speak on “The Way Forward – Where We Are and Where We Are Going.” Bouma was the lead architect of the Alberta Pork Revitalization Strategy and has been a key player in the development of several other directional studies for the agricultural industry. Finally, Hon. George Groeneveld, Alberta Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, will be the lunch speaker on Dec. 11.

The event will also include the annual business meeting of Alberta Pork. All registered guests can participate in the discussion but only delegates and directors can vote. Other events include the announcement of the winners of this year’s Spectra Awards, which recognize leadership in Alberta’s pork industry. Also, a silent auction will be held to raise money for charity.

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