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Pork Councils Request Meeting With Major Processors

The four pork councils across western Canada are asking to meet with senior staff at the major processing plants that handle the bulk of the independent pig producers in western Canada, including the Hutterite colonies, to talk about the future.
Andrew Dickson, general manager of Manitoba Pork, revealed one of the issues they'd like to address.
"A new pricing mechanism that's more reflective of the market realities of today, rather than the current model which is reliant on a U.S. pricing formula which has broken down essentially in the last year or so," he commented. "We need to find another way of pricing pigs that ensures that producers can make a profit and at the same time that the processors can make a profit."
Dickson says Business Risk Management programs are not the answer.
"We can't keep going back to try and solve the problems that could be addressed more directly by sharing of the risk between the producers and processors in the pork sector," he said. "Now there's going to be global issues that are going to affect both of us, processors and producers, that we are going to need government assistance on. Something like say COVID-19 comes along or African swine fever comes along."
He notes Quebec has set the pace on the issue.
"They're the largest producer in Canada and they produce about 7 to 8 million pigs and they're using a variation on a cutout value, maybe that's one way we need to take a look at. There's other models out there that ensure that producers can make some money over the long run."
The pork councils have written a letter to Maple Leaf Foods, Olymel, and Donald's Fine Foods asking for a meeting by the end of the month.
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