Pork Producers Call on Manitoba Govt for Assistance

CANADA - Manitoba Pork Council is urging the Manitoba government to follow the lead of other provinces and provide much needed financial support for the province's pork producers, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 1 October 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

Over the past three years Canadian pork producers have been financially devastated by a combination of factors.

Manitoba Pork council chair Karl Kynoch says while Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario have all come to the table with support programs, requests as far back as April to the Manitoba government for action have gone unanswered.

Karl Kynoch-Manitoba Pork Council

The other province's have come forward and helped the producers with some cash flow to be able to pay their bills.

Basically by our province not coming to the table that has basically put us on an unlevel playing field so our producers here will be hurting a little deeper than a lot of the other provinces just due to the fact that we haven't had assistance.

I know one of the things that a lot of people are always concerned about is the trade action risk when you do put some cash into the markets but we've got to remember that our producers right now are fighting for survival.

Over the last year and a half we've really reduced the number of hogs that have been going south into the US.

Our producers have been responding to market conditions.

They've been lowering the sow herd here in Canada and that so we feel that trade risk is very low because we've been responding to market conditions.

The thing is getting a little bit of cash into producers pockets will go a long way to help them carry on to getting back to profitable times, being able to pay up a lot of their local feed bills.

There's a lot of feed companies and other people hurting.

There's a lot of spin-off economic values to the hog industry and even those businesses are hurting just due to the fact that the producers don't have money to pay some of those bills.

The impact on that would just be huge I think for the economy as a whole.

Mr Kynoch is scheduled to meet later this month with Manitoba agriculture minister Rosann Wowchuk.

He says producers need to know what the government can do to help and he is looking forward to seeing what options the minister's staff has come up with.

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