2008 Year End Progress Report

Hog Industry Development Trust Fund
2008 Year End Progress Report

  • Environmental Projects:

Project: Dead Animal Disposal

Purpose: To develop and implement an effective waste disposal system for dead animals.

Background: For all livestock industries, disposal of dead animals can be challenging due to the volume of organic material. Simple solutions such as on-farm burial are not environmentally friendly while high tech methods tend to be effective but costly. For the BC Pork industry, historical records show that, on average, mortalities total 100,000 lbs per month.

Prior to this program the commonly used on-farm disposal was burial. There are environmental and animal health issues associated with burial and producers are anxious to utilize alternatives. Fortunately, there is a rendering plant in BC where dead animals can be processed into commercial products. Rendering is an effective although expensive solution at this time.

Anticipated outcome: An effective, environmentally sound, dead-animal disposal system.

Results:

The project functioned consistently with the Work Plan and effectively throughout 2008 as West Coast Reductions (WCR) recycled 1.5 million pounds of morts from 23 farms. WCR provided bins for dead animal deposition and weekly farm pick ups.

The project resulted in the absence of on-farm dead animal environmental incidents.

The continuing economic stress endured by BC hog producers made continuing industry project funding difficult.


Proponents: West Coast Reduction / BC Pork Producers Association

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  • Market Development Projects:

Project: Canadian Quality Assurance (CQA)

Purpose: To upgrade and maintain food safety standards on BC pork farms to the level of “CQA” designation.

Background: CQA is an on-farm program that guides producers to implement and utilize proven food safety procedures. CQA is a complete system, involving all aspects of production and requires producers to maintain audit-able records. The system is based on the seven basic principles of the internationally-recognized HACCP (Hazard Prevention Critical Control Point) model and is officially recognized by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Producers must be certified annually by an accredited independent auditor. Full accreditation is required every 3rd year and partial accreditation renewal must be achieved in each interim year. Dr Chris Byra of Greenbelt Veterinary Services has been accredited by the Canadian Pork Council as a CQA inspector.

Britco Packers will only receive pigs from farms having the CQA designation and the other major packer, Johnston’s, have indicated their attention to impose the same requirement.

Anticipated outcome: Increased marketing options for producers, a higher level of acceptance of BC pork by consumers and the absence of public food safety incidents relating to BC pork.

Results:

The project functioned consistently with the Work Plan and effectively throughout 2008 as Greenbelt Veterinary Service completed 8 interim partial accreditations and 7 full accreditations.

The Canadian Pork Council supported the program throughout the year and instituted several minor program improvements. Britco Packers continued its policy of requiring CQA certification as a condition of delivery.

There were no food safety incidents involving BC pork in 2008.

Proponents: Greenbelt Veterinary Services Ltd / BC Pork Producers Association

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Project: Pork Industry Strategic Plan

Purpose: To assess the BC pork industry situation and develop a long term survival and profitability plan.

Background: BC pork producers and processors operate in a relatively high cost environment compared to competitive production areas. Coupled with high feed costs and low market returns for the past 3 years, many BC pork producers are being forced out of business. The number of BC pork producers has declined from 300 to just 30 in 10 years. Unless changes are made, the future for BC pork producers does not hold much promise.

Pork, like some other agricultural commodities, has been marketed as a “commodity”, ie consumers can not differentiate product origin or characteristics. Given that BC pork production now satisfies only 10% of the BC market, it may be possible to target only the specialty sectors with differential higher value products that are profitable to produce and to vacate the “commodity sector” entirely to our competitors. To be successful in that endeavour, the industry must have a complete knowledge of the potential market, the production regimes needed to meet those specialty components and a plan to implement the strategy.

The Association will contract with Toma & Bouma, Management Consultants, based in Edmonton Alberta, to conduct the market review and develop a strategic plan for the industry’s consideration.

The Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC has agreed to provide major funding for the Project, subject to a lesser contribution from the industry and the PIDF.

Anticipated outcome: Report including: a description of the pork specialty market components in BC including customer profiles and price sensitivities; identification of potential production regimes to meet the specialty markets and a plan to implement the required strategies.

Results:

The project was completed consistent with the Work Plan. Toma and Bouma consulted extensively with industry components and delivered an “Opportunities Assessment Report” detailing the current industry circumstances and identifying potential opportunities for transitioning to profitability.

The Report was followed by Phase 2 which developed specific plans for each packer.

The BC Pork industry endorsed and accepted the Report’s recommendations and has embarked on a transition program moving to specialty production.

Proponents: Toma & Bouma; BC Pork Producers Association
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Project: BC Pork Industry Representatives Attending National Meetings

Purpose: To ensure BC representatives participate in discussions on Canadian Pork Industry issues.

Background: Many pork industry issues, including marketing policies, promotion and environmental concerns at addressed at the national level. This project shares the costs of airfares etc to attend those important meetings.

Anticipated outcome: BC hog producers are able to attend national meetings to ensure BC’s concerns and priorities are addressed.

Results:

BC representatives participated in national meetings to where policies relating to the industry’s strategic direction and Pork Marketing Canada, were developed.

News of the industry’s initiatives was carried in Country Guide, Ontario Farmer, Top Crop Manager, Atlantic Farm Focus, Island Farmer, Prairie Hog Country, Western Producer, Manitoba Co-operator, Alberta Farmer Express and Today’s Farmer.

Proponent: BC Pork Producers Association
Project: Pork Promotion – Canada

Purpose: In conjunction with other Provinces, sponsor Pork Marketing Canada to:

  • build retailer / processor relationships for Canadian pork
  • marbling initiative – goal is to achieve a ‘AAA’ grading system for marbled pork that will provide an incentive to producers to increase value to the consumer
  • ‘Choose Canadian’ – goal is to develop and promote a Canadian label for pork
  • Add value to food services
  • Develop a food services strategy to maximize opportunities for pork in restaurants
  • Build on health and nutrition
  • Promote the benefits to health care professionals by developing new health and nutrition resource material and by supporting “Health Check” an education program that helps consumers make wise food decisions
  • Consumer awareness campaign
  • Present pork in a new exciting and unique manner
  • Develop the “Putporkonyourfork” website

Background:
Pork Marketing Canada is a national marketing initiative of provincial pork organizations across Canada. The purpose of this alliance is to increase the consumption of, and appreciation for, Canadian pork by partnering with packers, processors, retailers and food service distributors and operators. Pork Marketing Canada offers expertise, and information towards programs that promote pork and create new sales opportunities.
Anticipated outcome: Use of the “Choose Canadian” label for pork at retail outlets including chains; development and circulation of posters and other informational and promotional materials; functioning informative website; and, positive media coverage in magazines such asCanadian Living.

Results:

Full page ads, produced by Pork Marketing Canada, promoting Canadian pork, and the use of the “Canadian Pork” sticker were carried in Reader’s Digest (October, November, December), Canadian Living (November, December), Chatelaine (November, December) and in the French language editions of those publications in the same time period.

Television ads promoting Canadian pork and the use of the “Canadian Pork” sticker were aired on Food Network Canada, Home and Garden Television and the W Network.

Proponents: BC Pork Producers and Pork Marketing Canada
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Project: Pork Promotion BC

Purpose: To showcase and promote the BC pork industry at the 2008 Pacific Agricultural Show

Background: The Pacific Agriculture Show showcases BC agricultural industries and the latest and most innovative equipment and technology for the agriculture industry. The Show is the largest and most important agriculture exhibition in the province. Agricultural commodity groups use the venue to stimulate interest in the commodity by potential industry entrants, to present a positive image to industry support and supply services, and to generally support BC major agricultural showcase, with other commodity groups.

Anticipated outcome: Over 200 agricultural industry service and supply companies participate in the show and over 7,000 farmers attend. The BC pork industry is showcased to the largest agricultural audience in the Province.

Results:

BC Pork exhibited at the 2008 Pacific Agricultural Show as planned. The show, sponsored by the Lower Mainland Horticultural Improvement Association, received wide-spread media coverage in the local and agricultural press. Attendance by both producers and equipment exhibitors met expectations and BC Pork received extensive exposure.

Proponent: BC Pork Producers Association