Farmscape for September 14, 2011
The executive Vice President of Hylife Foods warns the ability of his company's recently upgraded Neepawa pork processing plant to access adequate hog supplies is being threatened by the Manitoba government's expansion of its moratorium on new hog barn construction.
Bill 46 "the Save Lake Winnipeg Act", passed in June, contains new provisions to reduce the amount of nutrients entering Lake Winnipeg including extending a 2008 moratorium on new hog barn construction or expansion in part of Manitoba, to the entire province.
Yesterday representatives of the town of Neepawa, Keystone Agricultural Producers Hylife Foods and the local pork industry gathered in Neepawa to draw attention to the impact the bill will have on their local economy.
Hylife executive vice-president Denis Vielfaure fears the bill will hamper the ability of abattoirs, including his company's recently upgraded Neepawa processing plant, to access hogs.
It is getting of a concern.
We've had a couple of really tough years in the hog industry.
We lost ten percent of the inventory in Canada in the last tow years, there's less hogs.
We have abattoirs that are here, they need hogs so there's a bit of a demand for hogs right now.
Typically through normal attrition you'll keep that balance and a little bit of a growth but we haven't seen that because of the hard times in the industry.
Now with a higher level of environmental regulations which are closing down some of the smaller farms who can't cope with the costs and also some that simply don't want to invest in this industry because it's too tough.
Vielfaure acknowledges as a result of factors such as the high value of the Canadian dollar and U.S. Country of Origin Labelling, which have reduced to the movement of Canadian hogs south, Hylife has been able to access enough hogs, but just enough and he insists we can't allow that to slip to low.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork Council