KAP News & Media

KAP News and Media

News Releases


September 17, 2012

KAP calls for intervention in pork industry crisis

Keystone Agricultural Producers is calling for immediate intervention by the federal and provincial governments to address the worst crisis in the pork industry in Canadian history.
 
The recent move by Puratone, one of the three largest hog producers in Manitoba, to seek creditor protection is only the tip of the iceberg, said KAP president Doug Chorney.

“We see what is happening with Puratone and it’s a big story because it’s a bigger operation – but there are many, many small farm operations that are experiencing the same set of disastrous circumstances and are just quietly fading away,” he said.

“These are family farms, and they have no net worth left.  Moms, dads, kids and grandkids are being affected.”

The dire circumstances that Chorney refers to are extremely high feed costs due to the drought in the U.S., coupled with low prices for hogs. Prices, ironically, are being driven down further by producers themselves who are forced to empty barns and sell breeding sows because they can’t afford the feed.

“It costs $170 to raise an animal to market size, and all a farmer can get right now is $150 – and it’s expected to get worse. That’s a recipe for severe financial distress,” said Chorney.

“There will be far-reaching effects due to this crisis, just as there are when any industry is under extreme duress. It is estimated that 650 jobs will be lost – including farm labour, farm-supply, and transportation jobs – and there will be huge income losses for local feed-grain suppliers.

“And this does not include farm families, some of whom could walk away with nothing. The effects on the rural landscape will be devastating. Governments assisted when the auto industry was in crisis so that these kinds of economic and social consequences could be mitigated, and I think the same needs to be done for the pork industry.”

“Manitoba’s pork industry needs help – and it needs help now,” stressed Chorney. “Two months is too long to wait. For some farmers, two weeks might even be too late.”

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For more information, please contact:
Doug Chorney, president: 204-785-3626
Val Ominski, communications co-ordinator: 204-697-1140

Keystone Agricultural Producers is Manitoba’s largest general farm policy organization, representing over 7,000 farm families and 23 commodity groups throughout the province. Our strength is our democratic structure, and our mission is to represent and promote the interests of the province’s farm families.