The federal government announced it’s going to provide $13 million to extend its support for pork industry research.
Stewart Cressman of New Dundee, Ont., chairman of Swine Innovation Porc and chairman of the Agriculture Research Institute of Ontrio said the second round of funding will “enable us to continue the work that was initiated in Growing Forward.
This new program is designed to enhance competitiveness, drive innovation, accelerate the adoption of innovative technologies and practices and ensure the long-term growth and sustainability of the Canadian swine industry,” Cressman said.
The money comes after the federal government negotiated improved market access for Canadian pork in Europe and South Korea. Talks are ongoing with Japan, the Trans-Pacific Partnership and to get rid of the price-depressing aspects of the U.S. Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) regultions.
The swine cluster research got $9.5 million for three years from 2010 to 2013. It helped improve pork quality by using genomic information and introduced a precision feeding system that reduces feed costs by as much as $8 per pig.
The new cluster, led by Swine Innovation Porc, will help industry experts, scientists and academics to increase market share and competitiveness by enhancing the nutritional value of pork products.
The investment includes $2 million for Agriculture and Agri-food Canada researchers to participate in trials that help reduce production and feed input costs and enhance product attributes and profitability. Industry partners are providing $4.3 million to support the research cluster.
More than 22 organizations are participating in Swine Innovation Porc.
Agriculture Minister Gerry Rit said “the continued health of the pork sector is crucial to the Canadian economy.
“Our government is proud to work with industry on efforts to stay ahead of the curve by investing in clusters that foster adaptability and sustainability."
Jean-Guy Vincent, chairman of the Canadian Pork Council, thanked Ritz for his leadership and said "this investment in the swine research cluster will allow our industry to engage the best Canadian scientists on critical production and product issues.
“Our focus is on research that is aimed at reducing cost and creating more 'game changers' through greater and quicker innovation breakthroughs that will further strengthen our industry," Vincent said.