2009 Year End Progress Report

Hog Industry Development Trust Fund
2009 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 120,000 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 2009 as West Coast Reductions (WCR) recycled 1.4 million pounds of morts from 24 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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Project: Alternatives for Dead Animal Disposal

Purpose: To examine the feasibility of practical alternatives for disposal of dead animals.

Background: There may be viable alternatives to the current method of disposing of dead animals. Other commodity groups dispose of their dead animals though composting, incineration and freezing. Alternative methods could prove to be economical to the producers, either costing less or nothing for disposal of morts and maybe even generate revenue.

The current economics of the pork industry does not provide sufficient income to producers to fund 100% of the pick-up and reduction program so alternatives must be examined. This project will engage a contractor to search for practical alternatives for dead animal disposal.

Anticipated outcome: A Report identifying potential practical alternatives for dead animal disposal submitted to BC pork by January 31 2010.

Results:

The contractor (Ruth McDougall, P Ag) reviewed disposal options and methods in other Canadian Provinces and US States. There are several methods used including, rendering, composting, incineration, on-farm burial, disposal vessels, and scavenger species. Rendering, when available, is the preferred option in most jurisdictions.
The Committee received and reviewed the report and decided to offer a new program to BC Pork Producers using any of the alternatives alternatives. Producers are offered 50% funding on a one-year basis to implement an alternative disposal system on their farm.

Proponent: 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, are imposing 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 2009 as Greenbelt Veterinary Service completed 10 interim partial accreditations and 8 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 2009.

Proponents: Greenbelt Veterinary Services Ltd / BC Pork Producers Association

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Project: BC Pork Industry Promotion

Purpose: To develop public awareness of the BC pork industry and
its speciality products.

Background: The BC pork industry has begun an exciting transition to specialty, higher-value production. An integral component of the success will be public awareness of, and appreciation for, the differentiated BC produced, pork products. As direct paid advertising is too expensive at this stage, public awareness will be gained through media releases, contacts, and by exploiting events and special opportunities.

This project engaged a contractor on August 1 to promote public awareness of the specialty initiatives being undertaken by the BC pork industry.

Anticipated outcome: Promotion of new speciality products
through media coverage, of the transition occurring in the BC pork industry.

Results:
The project functioned consistently with the Work Plan for 2009. Contact was established with media personnel alerting them to the changes being made in the industry for future media coverage, BC Chef’s Association agreed to feature pork at several of their events, pork was introduced as an feature ingredient in the some high school cooking programs, and media-ready producer profiles were prepared for 3 farms.

Proponent: BC Pork Producers Association

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Project: Pork Promotion – Canada

Purpose: In conjunction with other Provinces, sponsor Pork Marketing Canada to identify and promote Canadian pork.

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: Development and distribution of promotional materials to retail outlets; acquisition and distribution of “pop-up timers” for use at promotional events.

Proponents: BC Pork Producers and Pork Marketing Canada

Results:

Pork Marketing Canada, promoted Canadian pork, through paid magazine advertising and by the use of the “Canadian Pork” stickers on retail products.

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.
Canadian per capita consumption of pork and pork products dipped only slightly in spite of the H1N1 scare.

Proponents: BC Pork Producers and Pork Marketing Canada
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  • Evaluation:


Purpose: To engage an independent contractor, to review projects undertaken between 2004 and 2008. The review will measure results against objectives, consistency with the Fund’s terms, and administrative procedures. The review may include recommendations if the independent contractor notes areas where improvements can be made.

Background: The Fund agreement provides for an independent evaluation every 5 years.

Anticipated outcome: An report report evaluating completed projects and guidance to the Advisory Committee on processes and procedures going forward.

Results:

Independent Contractor (Mike Wallis P Ag) completed the project as planned. The Report included several recommendations for improvements in operations and procedures . The Committee reviewed and accepted the report including the recommendations.

Proponent: BC Pork Producers Association