In response to three years of swine industry challenges that include low hog prices, high feed costs, a high-valued Canadian dollar, the H1N1 virus, the global recession and new product-labeling regulations, the Manitoba Pork Council has released a 54-page document, Embracing a Sustainable Future, which spells out 82 commitments designed to revitalize the industry.
The document focuses on nine key areas of concern identified by the council and industry producers: green farming practices, barn location, animal care, food safety, farm safety, research, trade, social responsibility and education and public awareness. "We are just beginning to emerge from several very challenging years when producers have struggled just to keep their farms afloat," said MPC Chairman Karl Kynoch. "We feel the need, now more than ever, to set a course that will ensure a bright future for pork production."
Among other things, the MPC hopes to encourage producers to phase out gestation stalls by 2025, invest in new technologies that minimize the release of methane gases from pig production facilities and commit to leading the effort to develop a practical system of traceability for pigs and pig farms within the next three years to help reduce losses in the event of a disease outbreak.