Spring 2023 – Editorial

The Spring 2023 edition of the Canadian Hog Journal is here!

Like most Canadians, my grocery bills are eating up more of my income, but I have to wonder where the money’s going. Producers can certainly tell, it’s not going to them. Consumers, too, are questioning the cost of food, and they’re right to be concerned. While pork remains refreshingly affordable, achieving a greater understanding of how costs and profits are distributed across the agri-food value chain is key to levelling the playing field for everyone.

Though value chain disparities certainly exist, it is in the entire industry’s best interest to work collaboratively to continue promoting pork. While the benefits of promotion are widespread, veteran ag journalist Will Verboven believes producers have the most at stake.

When it comes to analyzing the economics of agricultural commodities, not all products are equal, either. Supply management has been a boon for producers of dairy, eggs and poultry. Politically, it is one of the few issues on which all federal parties are in total agreement: supply management must be defended! But has this unwavering support for the system, favouring some commodities over others, come at the expense of trade relationships for the red meat sector? Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance (CAFTA) boss Dan Darling thinks so.

The federal government has also been aggressive in pushing its idea about sustainability in agriculture. This spring, the government said, “We want to hear from you!” when it comes to “a roadmap to meet our environment and climate goals.” During multiple consultation sessions, they heard, but are they listening? The Canadian Pork Council’s (CPC) policy expert, Katerina Kolemishevska – who provided critical, informed contributions to those discussions – weighs in.

The Canadian Meat Council’s (CMC) government relations manager, Lauren Martin, has been blazing a trail and meeting with a lot of important people since coming on board less than a year ago, trying to get political buy-in for meatpackers. Reflecting back on Canada Pork’s Annual Conference – joining representatives from pig production and pork processing – she offers her thoughts on the big picture.

Research in this edition is all about feeding weaners, including the effects of using high levels of zinc oxide and strategies to effectively encourage growth. Consider how these topics affect your production.

Going to World Pork Expo in June? The Canadian Hog Journal has a media partnership with the show, and I will be there. The organizers have graciously given me a free admission promo code to provide to readers, so if you are planning to go, let me know, and I will gladly send that to you by email. If you aren’t going, don’t miss the coverage in our next edition!

Your questions and comments – whether supportive or critical – are always welcome by contacting andrew.heck@albertapork.com. Healthy discourse requires diverse opinions and speaking up, which is why I want you to ‘follow’ the Canadian Hog Journal on Facebook and Twitter (@HogJournal) and take part in advocating for our sector, relying on your experience and expertise.