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Federal Hog Programme Hurts PEI Pork Producers

by 5m Editor
6 August 2010, at 9:22am

CANADA - A federal plan to reduce pork production across Canada is hurting businesses on Prince Edward Island (PEI), a body representing hog producers said yesterday.

The Prince Edward Island Hog Commodity Marketing Board said its members are suffering because of the Hog Transition Programme, which was designed to encourage hog producers to get out of the industry, according to CBC News.

The Canadian Pork Council said it is a $75 million initiative designed to help eligible producers by providing payments to those who agree to set aside all hog production in their enterprise for a minimum of three years.

The programme is open to all hog producers that were in the business of hog production as of 1 April 2009.

The programme is supposed to deal with a Canadian overproduction of pork that was driving prices down, making it hard for any producers to survive.

It was hoped that buying out many producers would drive prices up and make it a sustainable business for the remaining producers.

Tim Seeber, the executive director of the marketing board, said the real problem the programme was seeking to address was to do with production in western Canada, not PEI.

Despite that, eight Island producers took part in the programme, thereby reducing the number of hog farmers on PEI to about 29.

There were as many as 125 hog producers on PEI in 2006, Mr Seeber said. The low prices drove out most of those producers.

"Well, it has reduced our supply and because of that, our processing options are diminishing. We've lost Larsen Packers in Nova Scotia. At the present, we're struggling to hold onto two smaller production plants in Nova Scotia," he said.

"There are some producers that are going to Quebec, but it has affected the processing industry across the country really, in terms of being able to supply their capacity needs."