Cash Vital in Surviving Economic Crisis

CANADA - A director with the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board says the pork industry has reached a crisis point where some method needs to be found to get cash into the hands of producers, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 25 June 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

An estimated 500 to 600 pork producers and industry stakeholders gathered Monday night in Morris, Manitoba to discuss the economic challenges facing their industry, explore options and interact with MLAs and MPs.

Sask Pork director Ross Johnson observes, while the Saskatchewan government has shown a lot of support by putting extra dollars into producer's hands, the federal response has been nil and he's been disappointed in the action Ottawa hasn't taken.

Ross Johnson-Saskatchewan Pork Development Board

The situation is actually dire right now from a cash flow point of view.

We're in a situation where we've got feed issues, we've got H1N1 issues, we've got issues that are related to the dollar and it's cumulative losses over a couple of years now and it's just coming to a crisis point now.

Options are both short term and long term.

Obviously cash is king.

We have to find methods of getting cash into producers hands.

What's the best methodology for that, obviously I think the avenues that the government has wanted to use through the current programs is not working and I think we need to come up with some other methods, whether we modify the current programs or we look for some ad-hoc payments but cash is king and we have to get cash into the producers' hands.

Mr Johnson suggests programs are needed that will allow producers to get out without walking away with just the shirts on their backs, we have to find ways to make the industry viable for those producers that remain and people in the general public need to realize the contributions the pork industry makes both to the economy and in supplying pork to the human food chain.

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