Canadian pork producers name new chief

The membership of Canada’s national hog industry association has named its first vice-president, Quebec hog producer Jean-Guy Vincent, as its new chairman.

The Canadian Pork Council last week elected Vincent, a producer from Ste-Seraphine, about 30 km east of Drummondville, as its chair for the upcoming year.

Vincent, who represents the Federation des producteurs de porcs du Quebec (FPPQ) on the CPC’s board and executive committee, is replaced as first vice-president by Rick Bergmann, a producer from Steinbach, Man. and vice-chair of the Manitoba Pork Council.

The CPC’s new second vice-president is Florian Possberg of Humboldt, Sask., representing Sask Pork.

As council chairman, Vincent replaces Mayerthorpe, Alta. hog producer Jurgen Preugschas, who had chaired the national body since July 2008.

The CPC acts as the national voice for the hog sector, representing Canada’s nine provincial producer associations, which together include about 12,000 producers, sharing about $3.3 billion in farm cash receipts in 2010.

Vincent comes to the CPC chairmanship as the hog sector emerges from "the most challenging period in its history," the council said in its release.

"While the past few years have been difficult and the hog sector landscape has changed, the future is more optimistic," the council said. "The key challenges for the industry are the value of the Canadian dollar, availability of feed grain, consumer preferences, the trade environment and the uncertainty that comes with the future."

In his time as chair, the CPC said, Vincent plans to lead the council to:

  • focus investments and research on reducing hog producers’ costs of production;
  • strengthen the industry value chain, with an eye on boosting hog farm cash receipts;
  • enact a marketing strategy to develop the Canadian market for domestically produced pork and increase consumption of Canadian pork;
  • encourage activities to help "eliminate or reduce unnecessary regulatory divergences" between Canada and the "integrated North American hog industry;"
  • support government efforts to finalize a free trade agreement with South Korea, negotiate an economic and trade agreement with the European Union, join the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations and set up a bilateral economic partnership agreement with Japan, given the "long-term potential" of those agreements for the pork industry; and
  • create an environment for producers to capture opportunities for increased sales of pork in the Asia-Pacific region, European Union, Latin America and Eastern Europe.

In his other role as chairman of the Canadian Swine Health Board, Possberg said Tuesday that the board and CPC "have always worked closely together, and with Jean-Guy as (CPC) president, we are sure this close collaboration will continue to benefit the Canadian industry."

Vincent is also currently second vice-chair of the CSHB.

The CSHB’s initiatives "have been developed with the goals of reducing production costs and supporting market access for Canadian pigs and pork, recognizing that swine health is critical to the ongoing competitiveness of the industry," Possberg said.

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