Farmscape for April 30, 2008 (Episode 2831)
Manitoba's pork producers are applauding the provincial government's decision to help cover the cost of processing pork from animals culled under a federal breeding herd reduction program for food bank use.
Last week provincial agriculture minister Rosann Wowchuk announced the province will provide 500 thousand dollars to cover costs associated with processing pork from animals culled under the Federal Cull Breeding Swine Program.
Under the program meat from the culled animals may not enter the commercial food chain.
Manitoba Pork Council chairman Karl Kynoch recalls, when the cull program was originally developed, diverting the meat to food banks had not been considered.
Clip-Karl Kynoch-Manitoba Pork Council
David Northcott from the food banks came forward.
He called us and wanted to know if there was any way to get some of this food into the food banks.
We in turn contacted the feds to see if the federal program would allow us that.
You know this is just a good news story to be able to do this and it makes sense so it didn't take the feds very long to decide that, yes we can put that product into the food banks.
We checked with the Americans, if they would be concerned on countervail, they were happy with it.
Then we went forward to the provincial government and they thought this was a good thing to do with the product so they came forward with half a million dollars of funds.
And hopefully going forward maybe some individuals will donate some money to go toward processing and we can get all the pound of pork possible into the food banks.
It'll depend on how much more funds that the food banks can raise and how many animals are available but, as far as we're concerned as producers, we want to see all the product possible go to the food banks.
Kynoch says, to see the provincial government come forward to do the processing and the federal government agreeing, is a win for the people who need the food and for producers because to destroy the product goes against everything producers believe in.
He maintains the two things producers want to do is provide good animal welfare and provide top quality food for people around the world.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork Council