Manitoba Pork Sector Evolves

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Farmscape for January 25, 2021

Full Interview 25:18 Listen

The General Manager of Manitoba Pork says he has witnessed a tremendous evolution the province’s pork sector over the past 16 years.
Manitoba Pork is the organization that represents the interests of the province’s pork sector. Andrew Dickson, who will retire Friday after 16 years as the General Manager of Manitoba Pork, says the adoption of technology has been phenomenal and the new barns that have been built have demonstrated the benefits of higher productivity and getting costs down while dramatically improving their impact on the environment.

Clip-Andrew Dickson-Manitoba Pork:
Overall we’ve seen a tremendous growth in the industry, especially in terms of Canadian exports outside the country and the dollar value that’s brought to the industry and the country as a whole. Here in Manitoba it’s just a huge change in the ownership of the assets of the business and who’s producing the pigs. We’ve seen a significant increase in vertical integration through the system and then we’ve seen some cross integration as well. We’re at the point now where two companies produce over half of the finished pigs in the province.
At one point we had probably 15 hundred individual producers in the province and we’re down to maybe 200 independent producers left and that includes the Hutterite Colonies. Even those have gone up in size so the size of operations that are still held in independent hands are large compared to what they were say 16 to 20 years ago.

Dickson says, if the industry can sort out its financial challenges, the sector will be well positioned to move forward and grow and things are happening. He says the adoption of new pricing formulas is underway right now and that promises to be a game changer.

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