Photo caption: At the OPC 2022 Annual General Meeting, (L-R) Joe Dwyer (Recording Secretary), Victoria Stewart (Director), Kristy Perrin (Vice President), Kirk McLean (President).
By Andrew Joseph, Farms.com; Image by Glen Ruegg
The Ontario Pork Congress (OPC) held its 2022 Annual General Meeting on December 5, 2022, at the Mitchell Golf and Country Club in Mitchell, Ontario.
There, newly-elected OPC President Kirk McLean discussed future plans and announced the dates for the 2023 Ontario Pork Congress trade event with Glenn Ruegg, the Farms.com media Senior Sales Associate.
When asked by Ruegg what the vision is for the Ontario Pork Congress in 2023, McLean responded as-a-matter-of-factly: “We want to get the show back to [what it was] pre-Covid, as much as possible.”
McLean noted that before the pandemic hit, the show was growing and expanding when it last had a show in 2019 and was looking to take it even further in 2020.
But with the economic shutdowns caused by the Covid outbreak, large-scale gatherings such as the Ontario Pork Congress were, of course, shut down.
Well on the way to a successful show, McLean said “We only had about nine more booths to sell when we had to shut the show down.”
Despite having to shut down, McLean looked at things optimistically—there was great interest in the event enough that they were almost sold out—and would surely have been long before the show was slated to open.
He candidly admitted that the booth sales seen in 2019 were great, and were at a level not seen in years previous to it. Things were moving in an upward trajectory in 2019 “to the point where we were looking at renting extra space.”
The upcoming 2023 event—its 50th anniversary that McLean revealed will take place on June 21-22, 2023—is a way for the OPC and the industry to resume a semblance of normalcy.
It’s why the OPC is looking forward by looking back to bring the show’s participation back to the level seen pre-Covid.
McLean said that the Ontario Pork Congress “is to me, something that is needed in the industry—both from the producer side and the commercial side of things.
"My vision is expanding on the social atmosphere that is already there, and maybe introducing some more educational into,” he continued, noding towards his knowledge of the OPC's history, “but I think the social is a very big part of the Ontario Pork Congress.”
To learn more about the OPC, visit www.porkcongress.on.ca.