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Pork Industry Restructuring Plan Details Announced

by 5m Editor
5 October 2009, at 8:52am

CANADA - Canada's agriculture minister says there is a future for hog production in this country but the industry needs to right sized, writes Bruce Cochrane.

Beginning today Canadian pork producers can access applications for a government backed loans program being offered under a restructuring plan announced in August for the Canadian pork industry.

Applications for the Hog Farm Transition Program will be made available later this week.

Agriculture minister Gerry Ritz says Ottawa has worked with the pork industry and the lending institutions to develop an effective program and with US counterparts to make sure the program will right size the industry without threat of countervail.

Gerry Ritz-Canada Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

It's a three pronged approach.

The first prong, the smaller prong actually, 17 million dollars which is still a significant amount of money, will go to help the industry market their product domestically and internationally.

That's a great news story.

There is a hungry world out there.

There are emerging markets and there are existing markets that need to be revitalized.

We'll continue to do that with that money.

The second step of course is the 75 million dollar transition program which will take barns out of production up to three years.

What we're asking the Canadian Pork Council to do there is administer that program.

They will receive the money, they will administer it and they'll take these barns out, decommission them for a period of three years.

I'm also hearing that insurance companies now are stepping up and will insure those empty barns at a lesser rate should that farm ever want to get back in and I commend them for that initiative.

The third point, which is the one that has taken more time because you have the lending institutions involved and so forth, and there are legal contracts and documents to be done there.

We have that done.

Those will be all up on their web sites and of course available at each lending institution.

Mr Ritz says with a growing demand around the world for good, quality, traceable, safe food stuffs and for our genetics, there is a future for our top quality product.

He notes everyone says there's viability and vitality in the industry in the future and the hope is to give everyone a chance at that.

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