EDMONTON, AB (March 20, 2016) -- This year’s regional meetings in Lethbridge, Grand Prairie, Vegreville, and Red Deer went off without a hitch. Thank you to all of you who took the time to come out, despite the weather and new dates.

For those of you who couldn’t make it out to the meetings, here are a few presentation highlights:

Alberta Pork Chairman, Frank Novak, gave two presentations. First, the Chairman’s Report and second, the Value Chain update.

Frank gave attendees an update on the Canadian pork industry: where are we sending our pork? As seen in the charts below, China has seen the largest growth in Canadian pork exports, while the US has dropped. This means that while there is limited potential growth within Canada and the United States, there is a lot of potential for growth internationally. But producers must be competitive. The Canadian Pork Council is advocating on behalf of Canadian pork producers to promote fair and beneficial trade agreements between Canada and other countries so that Canada's pork industry may gain a competitive edge.

  

 

Frank also gave attendees the Value Chain update. Alberta Pork and the Western Hog Exchange formed a joint Pricing Committee and found the following: A review of hog margins suggest the possibility that Canadian producers are, on average, $10 below their US counterparts in F-F margin. Some of this difference is due to feed and some is due to hog prices. Continual work is being done on this topic to better understand the differences in regional markets.

Alberta Pork Executive Director, Darcy Fitzgerald, gave his presentation on Alberta Pork’s Strategic Plan. He recognized the need to educate the public about the realities of agriculture. Most people get their news and source their information from social media. Alberta Pork is looking at ways to get our message onto these platforms, and to better educate the public about agriculture.

Finally, Mark Armstrong (Grand Prairie, Vegreville, and Red Deer meetings) from Armco Solutions and Steve Gladwin (Lethbridge meeting) from Dandelion Renewables joined us to talk about possible solutions for our pork producers to cut down on energy costs through changes in ventilation, heating, and renewable power generation.

Thank you to everyone who came out, and we hope to see you again at our Annual General Meeting on November 30.