Canadian Pork Producers Face Tough Decisions

CANADA - The Chair of Manitoba Pork Council says Canadian pork producers will be facing some tough decisions over the next few months as they decide the future of their operations, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 26 August 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

Earlier this month Ottawa unveiled a restructuring plan for Canadian pork producers which includes interest bearing government backed credit, incentives to help struggling operations transition out of the industry and funding for international pork marketing initiatives.

Manitoba Pork Council Chair Karl Kynoch says pork producers have faced challenges ranging from high feed costs and the strong Canadian dollar to the economic down turn and most recently H1N1 but he is confident the industry is still viable in Manitoba and will ultimately return to profitability.

Karl Kynoch-Manitoba Pork Council

There's still quite a few details to work out over the month.

A lot more of the details will come out in September.

We've been working very close with government and pushing on them to at least get the announcement out so producers would have some idea of the structure of the programs coming forward.

The big thing was is that they finally came out with an announcement to give producers a heads up on what the government is actually going to do to help them so producers can move forward and make some touch decisions.

There's going to be a lot of tough decisions made over the next few months but the big thing was producers needed to hear the announcement so they could decide what to do with their operation and what to do going forward, whether to restructure it and continue or whether to decide to exit the industry.

I know this initiative isn't going to help out every producer but there's going to be a lot of hard decisions made here going forward and at least producers now know what the government's willing to do so I commend the federal government for coming to the table.

Mr Kynoch expects the difficulties to continue to echo through the provincial economy for the next few months.

He notes a lot of spin-off jobs that had depended on pork production are now being affected as we see feed mills cutting back on staff or closing and trucking companies laying off drivers.

He says it'll be interesting to see how things develop over the next few months.

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