A new agency has been established to promote the pork industry and fund research in Canada. The Canadian Pork Promotion and Research Agency (PRA) was announced today by Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Marie-Claude Bibeau.
Initiated by former Canadian Pork Council (CPC) chair, Jurgen Preugchas and a small group of producers, the effort to establish the agency was picked up by Preugchas’ successor Jean-Guy Vincent, and completed by current CPC chair, Rick Bergmann.
The PRA will receive funds through the collection of a levy on the imports of live pigs and pork meat in to Canada. It is estimated that the agency, when fully functioning, will provide an additional $2 million for research and promotion.
“The PRA will be an important vehicle for producers – it will help facilitate even greater collaboration across the value chain through increased research and promotion activities. In the long run, it will result in improving the long-term growth and competitiveness of the sector,” says Bergmann. “I would like to thank Minister Bibeau for championing this initiative and moving forward with the establishment of the agency.”
The agency will be run by a board made up of producers, importers, and industry stakeholders, who will oversee how funds are used. The PRA board will report to the Farm Products Council of Canada. The levy amount applied to any imported product is less than what some producers pay and pennies per kilogram on an equivalent basis, says the CPC.
Through the various individual provincial groups, pork producers already fund market promotion, extension services, and research activities. These investments so far have been critical in enhancing the competitive position of the sector, and in raising consumer awareness of the advantages in nutrient value of pork, the organization says in a press release
The Canadian Pork Council represents hog producers in Canada, with nine pork industry associations, representing 7,000 farms.