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Pork Producers and Industry

A chance to share information and discuss ideas on how to make the Ontario pork industry sustainable. ***Opinions expressed in this forum are those of the participants and do not necessarily reflect those of the OPIC Board of Directors and Staff.

Members: 22
Latest Activity: Jun 30, 2015

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Ontario Agriculture Sustainability Coalition -Call to Action 5 Replies

Below is a bulletin outlining the status of the Ontario Agriculture Sustainability Coalition and actions needed to advance this initiative. This bulletin was provided to OPIC by Ontario Pork and is…Continue

Started by Ontario Pork Industry Council. Last reply by kevin g kimball May 3, 2010.

Ken Ovington Appointed as Ontario Pork General Manager

Good luck Ken,JoeOntario Pork Board Appoints Ovington as General ManagerGuelph, November 4, 2009 – The Ontario Pork Board of Directors are pleased to announce the appointment of Ken Ovington as the…Continue

Started by Joe Dales Nov 5, 2009.

Pig Industry Recovery Plan -Letter from John Bowman

** This letter has been posted on behalf of John Bowman; Daco Animal Nutrition**Click on the attachment below to read John's letter.If you wish to contact John directly, his e-mail address is…Continue

Started by Ontario Pork Industry Council Oct 9, 2009.

Pig Industry Recovery Plan from Pork Grassroots Committee

** This has been posted on behalf of the Pork Grassroots Committee **Click the attachment below to see the Pork Grassroots Committee Letter to All Pork Producers, Restructuring Plan to Move the…Continue

Started by Ontario Pork Industry Council Oct 9, 2009.

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Comment by OntAG Admin on February 24, 2011 at 4:27pm

Ontario Pork Presentation to Finance & Economic Affairs

Comment by AgOntario on June 24, 2010 at 2:39pm
News Article in the Beacon Herald

Caution clouds pork's rebound
Posted By MIKE BEITZ , STAFF REPORTER
June 23, 2010

Shown at a ceremonial sausage-cutting to open the 37th annual Ontario Pork Congress are, from left, president Ray Black, Perth County warden Julie Behrns, Cathy Winhold, who is special assistant to Perth-Wellington MPP John Wilkinson, Stratford city councillor Paul Nickel, Perth-Wellington MP Gary Schellenberger and Huron-Bruce MP Ben Lobb. SCOTT WISHART The Beacon Herald



There may be a light at the end of the tunnel for Ontario pork producers still reeling from several years of low prices, higher costs and the fallout from last summer's H1N1 outbreak.

Then again, it could be an approaching train.

"Cautious optimism is how I'd describe it," Ontario Pork vice-chair Mary-Ann Hendrikx said Tuesday as the Ontario Pork Congress kicked off at the Rotary Complex in Stratford.


The 37th annual trade show comes at a time when pork prices are on a bit of an upswing, but that should not necessarily be taken as a sign that the industry has turned a corner, she said.

"A few weeks of good prices doesn't make up for four of five years of bad," said Hendrikx, noting that there's no guarantee that prices will remain where they are for the long term. "Everybody's still being fairly cautious."

And many producers are simply "numb" from the battering they've taken in recent years, she said, and especially after the H1N1 outbreak that many -- to the dismay of pork producers -- dubbed the swine flu.

"Last year was devastating," agreed Ontario Pork board director Teresa Van Raay. "And I think the mood now is definitely enhanced."

She, too, described that mood as one of "reserved hopefulness."

Still, the industry has had its casualties, she said, as many producers simply couldn't afford to continue losing money and left the business entirely.

"The ones that have left are not here," she said, gesturing to the trade show floor. "And the ones that are here are here to stay."

Paul Bootsma is one of those producers who made the tough decision to transition out of the industry, giving up his 222-sow farrow-to-finish operation near Brantford.

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"We questioned the future of the industry," said Bootsma, who took a cheque from the federal government's hog farm transition program to help him ease out of the business. "There's a lot of uncertainty out there."

But Bootsma hasn't exactly turned his back on his fellow farmers. He now works as a district and membership representative for the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario, which he called a "good fit" for someone with his farming background and experience.

He said it's too early to tell if the decision to quit the hog industry was the right one, but he said he had "no regrets" about making it, especially since it gave him the opportunity to get out relatively debt-free.

Perth-Wellington MP Gary Schellenberger said he sympathized with those producers caught in "trying times" for the pork industry and suggested Ottawa is doing what it can to help by working to expand foreign markets for Canadian products.

And in an ideal world, federal support initiatives would not be needed to help struggling producers, but they are working for many, he said.

"I know that most farmers would like to realize their profits from the sale of their product and not from government," he said. "But I think some of the government programs have probably helped."

Ontario Pork Congress president Ray Black said the turnout at the event, from exhibitors and attendees, is an indication of the strength of the sector.

"People here are in it for the love of the industry," he said. "It's a way of life for them."

But taking more control of that industry and the market prices for pork is key to the ongoing survival of that way of life, said Black.

"It's not good enough just to make a living," he said. "You have to make a life."

The Pork Congress wraps up at the Rotary Complex today.
Comment by Tom Murray on October 9, 2009 at 1:36pm
This is more of a question of managing supply versus supply management. If we where to go the supply managed route not only would we lose a lot of farmers but all the industry that goes with it. By controlling the supply and recapturing our own market we can have the best of both worlds
 

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