Alberta Pork Producers Plan Industry Crisis Rally

ALBERTA, CANADA - Alberta pork producers that continue to face devastating financial losses and a country-wide collapse of their industry are planning a producer industry crisis rally in Calgary on Friday, 10 July, to push their plight to governments and the general public.
calendar icon 9 July 2009
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The event is also timed to bring the pork dilemma to the forefront of federal and provincial governments on what is at stake if the producer liquidity crisis is not addressed immediately. The Meeting of Federal, Provincial, Territorial Ministers of Agriculture is slated for 9 July 2009 in Ontario.

"We have asked Alberta Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, George Groeneveld to bring the issue of financial support for the pork industry to this meeting," says Paul Hodgman of Alberta Pork, the organization representing pork producers in the province. "The Minister’s office has also been asked to provide a first-hand report at the Friday pork rally to let our producers and the public know the results of their deliberations."

The reality is the current financial losses leave no time for pondering responses, says Mr Hodgman. Pork producers have faced continuous losses for three years due to a high Canadian dollar and skyrocketing feed grain prices, factors out of producers’ control. There was hope of returning profits this spring but this hope was wiped out with the announcement of influenza A H1N1.

The rally will be held on the grounds of the McDougall Centre in downtown Calgary from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Alberta Pork is prepared to serve 3,000 pork on a bun sandwiches from noon until 1:30 p.m. Anyone interested in showing support is welcome to attend.

"We hope to bring as many producers and others in the industry as possible from across the province out to emphasize the seriousness of our situation," says Mr Hodgman. "We are inviting the public from Calgary or anywhere else in the province to come out to enjoy lunch and show support for our Alberta pork industry."

Alberta is on the brink of losing its hog industry. The industry has already been reduced to less than 450 producers from 1,500 producers only five years ago; there has been a reduction of more than one million market hogs produced in the province. This rally will give the industry and the public the opportunity to demonstrate the need for our food to be grown locally, instead of relying on imported pork products from other countries which are currently on the rise.

"Alberta pork products ensure that consumers have continued confidence in the safety and quality of pork produced at home," says Mr Hodgman. "We encourage consumers to keep pork in mind as they shop at the grocery store and ask for Canadian produced pork."

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