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Ont. names hog industry advisory committee

A committee has been named to steer Ontario’s hog industry past Ontario Pork’s single desk and into a new marketing system.

“We’ve established the Ontario Hog Industry Advisory Committee (HIAC) to help Ontario Pork Producers’ Marketing Board transition to a new hog marketing environment in which producers will have more marketing options,” said Elmer Buchanan, acting chair of the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission, in a release Friday.

Following hearings in July, OFPMC ruled last month that Ontario Pork will no longer be the sole authority for marketing pigs in the province, but will market pigs for producers on a fee-for-service basis. Ontario Pork’s board is scheduled to come back to OFPMC with a new structure and governance model by Dec. 1.

OFPMC set up HIAC to provide input and feedback to Ontario Pork as it moves away from sole authority for marketing of Ontario farmers’ hogs.

Ontario Pork is already setting up an autonomous hog sales and marketing group for farmers who opt to use its services. But according to the OFPMC’s release, the committee has also turned its attention to researching options for a payment protection program for Ontario hog farmers.

Along with Buchanan, HIAC’s members also include:

  • Cathy Aker of Maple Leaf Foods;
  • Jim Clark of OFPMC, also executive director of the Ontario Cattle Feeders Association;
  • Dan Cohoe of Toronto-based Quality Meat Packers;
  • Bob Hunsberger of Conestoga Meat Packers, a producer-owned packing plant at Breslau;
  • Wilma Jeffray and Curtis Littlejohn, elected directors with the Ontario Pork Producers’ Marketing Board; and
  • Ontario hog producers Gary Pennings, James Reesor, Jim Van Nes and Allen Van Ravenswaay.

“The council brings producers, processors and the board together to discuss how we move from the old system to a new system smoothly. That is its immediate challenge,” Buchanan said in Friday’s release.

“From what I’ve seen at the committee’s first two meetings in November, I’m impressed by the commitment to make it effective for all stakeholders in Ontario’s pork industry.”

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