Manitoba Hog Supply Stability Concerns Maple Leaf

by 5m Editor
8 December 2011, at 6:42am

MANITOBA, CANADA - According to Bruce Cochrane, Maple Leaf says provisions contained within the recently adopted "Save Lake Winnipeg Act" raise significant concerns over the ability of Manitoba's pork producers to reinvest in their production facilities and responsibly expand their production base.

Bill 46, the Save Lake Winnipeg Act, which was passed in mid-June contains several new provisions aimed at reducing the amount of nutrients entering Lake Winnipeg which directly impact Manitoba's pork industry.

Jason Manness, the director of procurement for western Canada with Maple Leaf Consumer Foods, says the company would like to be brought to the table with industry to work through issues of concern.

Jason Manness-Maple Leaf Consumer Foods

Today we continue to operate our facility at Brandon at full double shift and that's been the case through much of 2011.

We do have significant concerns about producers both reinvesting in their production facilities and growing their production base responsibly as a result of bill 46.

We understand much of the technology being proposed by government is unproven with a high initial capital cost which will discourage producers from this re-investment.

Maple Leaf has made a significant investment in Manitoba on the assumption and the need to have sustainable and adequate hog supply for our Brandon facility for the long term.

While we support the government's intent on this legislation we must be brought to the table along with industry to work through the issues and ensure the correct regulations and practical solutions will be put in place by government so producers can re-invest and have the opportunity to build new barns in a sustainable manner.

Mr Manness notes US Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling has dramatically reduced Canadian isowean and feeder pigs exports south resulting many empty Canadian sow barns.

He says, while Maple Leaf continues to process at capacity, the law has taken a pool of hogs out of the industry that Maple would have sourced from time to time.

He says Maple Leaf is pleased COOL measures have been over-turned by the World Trade Organisation and is hopeful, moving forward, America will comply with the ruling.