Alberta Pork presents revitalisation strategy
Pork producers in Alberta will have received several
pieces of information on the Revitalization Strategy being developed for their
This publication, titled The Way Forward, is part of that ongoing effort.
some time, Alberta Pork has been working with industry stakeholders and
government in Alberta and nationally on many fronts on the crisis in the pork
industry. That work continues.
However, while the crisis has required
immediate action, it has also been clear that the pork industry needed to
consider significant longer-term changes to succeed in the
The province has many
competitive advantages for livestock production, the report notes, such as its
large land base and lower population density, favourable climate to produce both
crops (including feed grains) and livestock, a base of competent and adaptable
production management skills and 'relative proximity' to export to China, the
largest and fastest-growing market for pork.
"Nevertheless, building a
competitive pork industry will require a dramatic overhaul of the entire
industry if there is to be any probability of success," the report summary
continues, outlining four 'core principles' as the basis of a revitalisation
â€¢ establishing marketing capability
built on product quality, supply assurance and customer-focused strategies that
are 'long term and of mutual interest' rather than trying to compete on cost;
â€¢ organising and building a highly connected
industry linking customers to processors and processors to producers, capturing
maximum value and driving out 'unnecessary system and hidden costs'
â€¢ securing 'cost-competitive inputs',
particularly feed grains and labour, and establishing a feed grain sector that
can compete with US corn; and
within 'a favourable business and political environment that facilitates market
access, regulatory reform and long-term financing.'
The report pointed to
four factors as causing the current financial crisis in Alberta's pork industry,
including the rising Canadian dollar; the escalating costs of inputs, especially
feed; 'intense' competition from the USA and its dominant, large-scale, pork
production systems; and a lack of competitiveness in the packing sector, which
in Canada remains as a cost disadvantage to US processors, estimated as high as
US $12 per hog, thanks to higher costs and discounted prices.
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