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Alberta Pork AGM to Drive New Thinking

by 5m Editor
16 December 2008, at 6:48am

ALBERTA - Over the past year, the Alberta pork industry has been setting aggressive goals to become more responsive to what consumers are looking for both domestically and around the world.

Alberta pork producers will have the opportunity to hear some of the best perspectives on how to reach these goals at the 2008 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Alberta Pork, to be held 10-11 December in Calgary.

“With this year’s AGM, we wanted to hit all of today’s major issues head-on and offer perspectives that will drive new ideas in Alberta’s pork industry,” says Herman Simons, Tees, Alberta pork producer and chairman of Alberta Pork. “We believe this year’s lineup of speakers is our strongest set of speakers to date.”

On the food front, Europe has long been seen as a leader in world trends. Where does Canada stand in relation to the world’s leaders? Andrew Cookson, managing director of France-based GIRA Consultancy & Research, will help answer that question by offering the latest strategic trends in Europe and beyond. GIRA is a multinational strategic consultancy and market research firm specializing in the food retail chain. Its 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.

A question on the minds of many Canadian livestock producers today is whether Canada is ready for a foreign animal disease outbreak. Few people will have a better perspective on that question than Charles Milne, chief veterinary officer for Scotland. Milne was on the front lines of the European foot and mouth disease outbreaks of 2001 and 2007 and a driver behind some of the toughest decisions made to slow the disease. He’ll share lessons learned from these experiences.

There are few issues on the horizon today bigger than animal welfare and there are few people more familiar with the topic than Dan Murphy. A self-described “concept specialist,” Murphy’s work as a journalist, feature writer and commentator have been influential in policy debates surrounding the food industry. 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. His presentation will focus on the coming challenges and opportunities in the growing debate over animal welfare.

The AGM will also feature updates on the domestic front with leading edge perspectives on consumer pork research, the environment, government policy and industry strategic direction, including an update on the Alberta pork industry’s Revitalization Strategy.