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New Prairie hog marketing service names chief

A new merged marketing service centre for Saskatchewan and Manitoba hog producers has turned to one of its parents’ head offices for its new general manager.

Perry Mohr, CEO of Manitoba Pork Marketing Co-op, was named Monday as the new general manager for Winnipeg-based [email protected] Marketing Services, jointly owned by MPMC and Saskatchewan’s SPI Marketing Group.

The two marketing agencies announced the joint project in February 2009 with plans to start operations this month, representing about 300 hog farmers marketing about 1.5 million hogs per year.

[email protected] (short for “hog administrative marketing services”), is expected to spread the marketing cost per unit over a larger volume of hogs, Mohr said on the hog industry-sponsored program Farmscape on Monday.

“In the first year in particular I’m not convinced there’s going to be a tremendous amount of savings,” Mohr said on the program. “Certainly there’s going to be an increase in costs simply due to the fact that we’re going to be more visible in Saskatchewan and the costs related with being more visible.”

[email protected] in both provinces will be charging a 50-cent marketing fee, Mohr said, adding that “it’s our goal to see if we can chisel that down to maybe 40 cents at some point in the future.”

SPI general manager Don Hrapchak noted on Farmscape last week that the 50-cent fee translates to a 50 per cent reduction in Saskatchewan producers’ marketing fees compared to the $1 they paid before Jan. 1.

“I’m quite excited about the potential opportunities that exist in Saskatchewan,” Mohr said on Farmscape last week. “Those producers have largely been without a large number of services for a significant period of time so we believe that there’s some opportunities to add some value in Saskatchewan from marketing services to insurance programs to risk management services.

“Having the extra producer base to work with and potential revenue opportunities from that producer base may allow us to enhance some of our existing packages,” he said. “Certainly we’ll be adapting and personalizing the programs to the producers that need them.”

Mohr’s duties will now be split between [email protected] and MPMC, the two agencies said in their release Monday. Mohr has worked in hog marketing for 20 years, including 10 as MPMC’s CEO.

MPMC president John Preun said in the release that Mohr was an “ideal candidate” who had guided the co-op through “constant restructuring” since becoming CEO.

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