Monday, January 31, 2022

PMRA slashes projects

The Pest Management Review Agency has slashed the number of projects for minor use registrations for fruit and vegetable growers.

In 2019, the Pest Management Center was funding 40 projects; now it’s 22.

The Pest Management Center’s budget has been flat for a decade, so inflation has reduced its value. Rampant inflation now will make the situation worse.

The budget for pest management alternatives has been slashed from $2 million a decade ago to $210,000 now. And then there’s also the inflation factor here again.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in his mandate letters to the agriculture and health ministers, said he wants them to work on reducing pesticide risks to workers and the public, including finding alternatives to pesticides.

All of this information and more is included in the annual report Chris Duyvelshoff prepared for the annual meeting of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association. He is the organization’s crop protection advisor.

I guess the budget cutters on Parliament Hill thought nobody would notice. Maybe until they can no longer buy Canadian-grown fruits and vegetables.

CFIA warns feed industry about imports

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has informed feed manufacturers that it has updated the list of countries whence feed ingredients are imported. It is increasing vigilance over African Swine Fever.

The countries facing amended regulatory status are Bhutan, Cambodia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Germany, Greece, Haiti, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, North Korea, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Republic of Korea, Republic of North Macedonia, Serbia, Slovakia, Thailand and Timor Leste.

They all have identified African Swine Fever within their borders.

Belgium has been removed from the list.

The CFIA advisory said producers and feed manufacturers who purchase ingredients to produce pig feed should know the origin of the ingredients. should verify that feed ingredients were produced and handled using proper biosecurity measures and should be able to provide feed purchasers with information on how the ingredients were produced and handled before to entry into Canada.

The advisory said African Swine Fever can be transmitted via contaminated feed or feed ingredients imported from countries where these diseases are present.


The CFIA certainly took it's sweet time, eh? 


Friday, January 28, 2022

Spud spat to end soon, Bibeau says

The ban on exporting Prince Edward potatoes to the United States will end soon, federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said.

She said exports will probably resume to Puerto Rico which then ships them on to the United States. Puerto Rico does not grow potatoes so the U.S. has no restrictions on potatoes from there.

And soon after the U.S. market will re-open, Bibeau said.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency banned exports from P.E.I in December as a pre-emptive move because potato growers in the United States were demanding the U.S. impose a ban on the basis that potato wart fungal disease is on the island.

Bibeau said at the time that it will be easier to lift a Canadian-imposed than a U.S. ban.

The ban has depressed potato prices across Canada and has angered Island farmers and politicians.

The CFIA recently completed a national survey of potato fields to detect the disease. So far it has been limited to two fields on the Island, the same two as had been identified as infected for the two previous years. Quarantine measures are in place.

Exporters want more help from Ottawa

Exporters want more experts, such as veterinarians, to help fight trade barriers being raised by China and other Asian nations.

The Canola Council of Canada, Cereals Canada and Pulse Canada are jointly lobbying the federal government.

They say tariffs, while important, are not being used as much as technical barriers, such as complaints about the potential that diseases might spread or that commodities are failing to meet standards.

In the last year, lentils and peas faced bans imposed by India and China has cut off some Canadian pork suppliers.

“The hope is that by building a network of government scientists and regulators in Asia who are in frequent communication with their counterparts, Canada can address market access issues before they arise or resolve them in a more expedient manner, said Jim Everson of the Canola Council.



Probiotic additive market expanding

The market for probiotic feed additives is expanding at a rate of 6.7 per cent per year, according to a report from Future Market Insights.

For the livestock industry it will amount to about $4 billion a year by 2031, the report said.

The market for pets, horses and fish will increase more than twice as fast – by 13.7 per cent – and be worth about $2 billion by 2031.

The demand to feed pets is growing the fastest.

Future Market Insights also said that large retailers are becoming more important for marketing pet foods.

“The global animal feed probiotics market is predicted to be driven by the expansion of global retail chains, both physical and digital, as well as the expansion of product lines.” said a lead analyst.

Grocers need regulation, report says

The giant supermarket companies who intimidate suppliers need a regulator, says a report commissioned by the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute.

The regulations are needed to address unfair trading practices between grocery retailers and suppliers and “can make a positive difference to supply chains, particularly when enforced by a regulator,” wrote Christine Tacon who is adjudicator for this type of oversight body in the United Kingdom. She also has experience running the largest farming business in the U.K. and worked in marketing and sales for M&M Mars and Fonterra.

She said the supply chain works better when participants work together towards growth rather than spending time resolving payment and delivery issues “that could adversely affect their relationship.”

She said “suppliers need to be able to challenge their retailer customers despite imbalance in size.”

She said the Groceries Supply Code of Practice in the UK has made the market fairer and more efficient and those improvements have made the market more civil whilst still being fiercely competitive.

“Regulation in the UK is working for the supply chain,” she said.

One area of improvement is “a whole supply chain approach to forecasting” and it “pays dividends for everyone and the environment.”

The federal and provincial ministers of agriculture are looking into the precise issues her report addresses.

In the 1970s, complaints from suppliers led to a judicial inquiry into rebates, discounts and allowances the dominant supermarket chains imposed.

Nothing changed for suppliers after that inquiry.


Thursday, January 27, 2022

Viterra buys a Japanese grain company

Viterra is buying Gavilon’s grain operations in the United States, Mexico, South American, Europe and Asia from Japanese company Marubeni.

Viterra is taking the grain business and leaving the fertilizer part of Gavilon with Marubeni.

Marubeni paid $2.7 billion got Gavilon in 2013 and has booked losses of $1 billion, reports Reuters news agency.

Viterra is owned by Glencore, a global company with investments in mining and commodities. Viterra is the result of mergers of the wheat pools of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Saputo to mark centennial with imported cheeses

Saputo Dairy USA is celebrating the centennial of its Stella cheese by adding two imports from Northern Italy.

It will be importing Stella Parmigiano Reggiano Wedge and Shredded Cup which is aged  an extra 10 months to allow for increased flavor development during the maturation process, and Stella Gran Padano Wedge, aged an extra five months to give it “medium seasoning,” Saputo said.

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Another price-fixing case finalized

A federal judge has given final approval to an almost $8 million deal with Mar-Jac Poultry and a $3.3 million deal with Harrison Poultry to settle price-fixing allegations.

The settlements were granted on Tuesday by Judge Thomas Durkin in the Northern District of Illinois. 

Buyers filed a lawsuit against the two in September, 2016, because they conspired to curtail production to get prices to rise.

Mar-Jac of Gainesville, Georgia, and Harrison of Bethlehem, Georiga, are among eight processors which have reached settlement agreements with direct purchaser plaintiffs totaling nearly $180.9 million. 

Other settlements include Tyson Foods paying more than $79.3 million and Pilgrim’s paying $75 million.

Saputo rumoured to be buying A2 Milk company

Despite financial woes, shares in A2 Milk company rose by 6.6 per cent on the New Zealand stock exchange Tuesday amid rumours that Saputo is planning a takeover.

An Australian newspaper also said that Saputo might instead by chasing after Jaina Dairy Foods.

A2 Milk’s shares have lost almost half their value over the past year after exports to China plunged because the COVID-19 pandemic stopped international shipments.

“The share price of a2 has taken a bit of a jump today on takeover speculation and I guess time will tell as to whether that’s true,” said Hamilton Hindin Greene investment adviser Grant Davies. “It definitely falls into the speculative side of rumours”.

PED rampaging in Manitoba

Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus is raging across Southeastern Manitoba, showing up 54 premises this winter.

Meanwhile Swine Health Ontario reports only one case since the end of November.

The outbreaks in Manitoba have hit between 65,000 and 70,000 sows since the first case about three months ago.

Officials with Manitoba Pork said it may take some time to stop the spread of the virus which is deadly for the youngest pigs

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Rural economic subsidies renewed

Ontario Agriculture Minister Lisa Thompson announced renewal of the Rural Economic Development subsidies for another year.

Last year the government backed 61 projects with $3.8 million.

Thompson said this year’s funding will support initiatives that address barriers to economic development and position rural communities for economic growth and job creation, such as marketing and outreach campaigns to grow rural Ontario’s workforce, connecting youth and apprentices to job opportunities and placements and creating dedicated spaces such as innovation hubs and youth centres to develop partnerships and foster innovation.

Applications for the new targeted RED intake will be accepted from February 7, 2022 to March 7, 2022.

Projects in the Economic Diversification and Competitiveness stream are eligible for up to 70 per cent cost share, up to a maximum of $150,000 per approved project.

Projects in the Strategic Economic Infrastructure Stream are eligible for up to 50 per cent cost share, up to a maximum of $250,000 per approved project.




Greens blast Premier Ford over housing

Green Party leader Mike Schreiner of Guelph blasted Ontario Premier Doug Ford for trying to solve the housing crisis by promoting urban sprawl.

Schreiner said the Green Party would permanently preserve farmland and would tackle the housing shortage by encouraging more urban density – eg. highrises – and development on brownfield properties – i.e. former industrial sites.

Ontario is losing 175 acres of farmland every day, which is the equivalent of five family farms per week,” Schreiner said. 

“Highway 413 alone would destroy 2,000 acres of prime farmland.
“We can’t eat pavement and asphalt,” Schreiner said.

He also said the housing shortage now stretches into all parts of the province, “both rural and urban, east to west, south to north.”

“And Doug Ford’s answer? Endless urban sprawl that makes life even less affordable and paves over valuable farmland,” Schreiner said.

There is a provincial election in June and soaring housing prices and rental rates are a hot issue.

Good time to check fertilizer value

With fertilizer prices going through the roof, it’s a good time to run an analysis of what your dealer is offering.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency used to run random-sample testing programs, but a combination of budget-cutting bureaucrats and lobbying by the fertilizer industry brought that to an end.

It’s little wonder that the fertilizer industry wanted the program stopped. When I delved into the results in the early 1980s, I found their track record was atrocious.

The CFIA tested to determine whether what they claimed was in fact what they sold – enough nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous in the blend.

But the CFIA was lenient. It allowed individual ingredients to be out of whack so long as the blended value was within its parameters.

So, you could skimp on potassium, for example, by adding a bit more nitrogen. Or skimp on nitrogen by pumping up phosphorous.

Not good for the farmer, but great for the fertilizer blenders and/or retailers.

With this track record in mind, and with sky-high fertilizer prices, I suggest farmers ask for a sample of what their retailer is offering. And if you’re buying bulk, I suggest you learn how to draw a representative sample and take it for analysis.

It will be important to draw the sample correctly because the supplier may challenge your claim. You would not want to lose a multi-thousand-dollar claim to a court challenge.

Google on-line for a local company that can run a fertilizer analysis. In my area near Kitchener, that would be SGS in Guelph, Stratford Agri Analysis or A&L Canada Laboratories Inc. of London.

And if you are a member of a farm organization, such as Grain Farmers of Ontario, the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers or the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, lobby them to put some of your support dollars into running a random-sample analysis program for fertilizers.

Don’t you want to be sure you’re getting what you pay for?

Less corn, more soybeans predicted

The federal agriculture department anticipates that there will be less corn planted this spring, but more soybeans.

Corn acres will be about 13,600 acres, down from 13,984 last year.

Soybean acres will be about 6,551, up from 6,272 acres last year.

It also expects yields will return to normal across the Prairies which were hard hit by heat and drought last year.

The prediction is for wheat and pulse acres, such as peas and lentils, to increase, but canola will be slightly down.

Spring wheat acres will be up by about five per cent, durum by nine per cent which should bring in a harvest twice as large as last year, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada said.

Sandwiches on national recall

HQ Fine Foods of Edmonton is recalling certain Quality fast foods brand and Hygaard Fine Foods Ltd. brand sandwiches because the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has detected food-poisoning Listeria monocytogenes bacterial contamination.

The sandwiches have a best before date of Feb. 11 and include donair, egg salad, turkey, beef, chicken and cheese sandwiches.

The company distributed its sandwiches across Canada, yet so far nobody has reported illness from eating the products.

Metro posts strong profit

Metro Inc. posted an 8.6 per cent increase in profit for the first quarter, but sales increased by only nine-tenths of one per cent to $4.3 billion, less than food-price inflation of 3.5 per cent for the supermarket chain’s products.

Metro is Canada’s third-largest supermarket chain with banners such as Food Basics and Super C and Jean Coutu pharmacies.

Sales increased substantially two years ago when COVID-19 lockdowns closed restaurants and cafeterias, but now there has been a return to buying restaurant fare, usually for take-out or home delivery.

Monday, January 24, 2022

Commission granted intervenor status on egg appeals

The Ontario Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs tribunal has granted a request from the Ontario Farm Products Commission to be granted intervenor status on three appeals filed by Sweda Farms Ltd. against the Egg Farmers of Ontario marketing board in August.

It means the commission may be represented by a lawyer at the public hearings and question witnesses.

There was no notice on the appeals tribunal website of the three hearings it held Jan. 10 into the commission’s requests. It made its decisions Jan. 12 and the information was posted on a separate website today. 

The first appeal is about the egg board’s early egg removal and early fowl removal programs.

The second is about the egg board’s telling farmers to whom they must market their eggs. It calls for a change to geographical marketing to grading stations.

The third is about the marketing board’s regular levy and its eggs-for-processing levy. The levies, which are a form of tax on farmers, are used to fund egg board operations.

The tribunal has given no public indication of when it might hold public hearings on the appeals.

The commission's intervention is curious since it has the responsibility of overseeing marketing boards and should have been on top of the issues Sweda's appeals have raised.

However, the commission also failed earlier when it received documents indicating the two dominant egg-grading companies in the province over-stated Grade A status of eggs. That benefitted farmers with better prices and the egg board with levies, but cheat consumers who were stuck with cracks and dirty eggs as later and separately confirmed when I asked for the results of Canadian Food Inspection Agency random-sample testing of egg grading.

The commission ducked responsibility by referring to a lawsuit launched by Sweda Farms against Burnbrae Farms, L.H. Gray and Son Ltd. and the egg board. More than half a decade later, that legal battle remains without any court hearings being held so far.

Hard butter study released

Dairy Farmers of Canada has released an 84-page report about why butter seems to be harder.

At the time palm oil used in dairy rations was cited as a potential reason and Dairy Farmers of Canada urged its members to switch out of palm oil for rations.

However, the study said it “cannot conclude that any perceived increase in the hardness of butter be solely attributed to the use of palm-derived feed supplements.”

That's about as mealy-mouthed as it can get.

Group chairman Daniel Lefebvre said they also found that there’s a lack of data on the fatty-acid composition of butter, making it difficult to determine what, if anything, has changed.

The Expert Working Group on Feed Supplementation included representatives from the Consumers’ Association of Canada, processors and dairy farmers.

At the time, CBC, the Globe and Mail and Sylvain Charlebois of Dalhousie University made a big deal of the belief that butter was harder.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Cricket-farming technology wins UN award

Darwin AI of Waterloo has been picked as one of the world’s top 10 projects for its work in using artificial intelligence to help Aspire Food Group with its cricket-farming venture.

Only two in North American made it into the top 10, the other being NASA of the United States.

Aspire Food Group is building a cricket-farming facility at London that is due to open this spring.

Sheldon Fernandez, chief executive officer for Darwin AI, told CBC Radio in Kitchener that the UN award is “quite significant because it really shows that Canada can compete at the global stage when it comes to artificial intelligence. 

“We often hear, in Canada that we're really great at creating these technologies, but not so much commercializing them to practical ends.

“Having this type of recognition on the global scale . . . really shows the level of innovation that's coming from the country and that we really can compete with the very best in the world.”

Crickets are being grown as a protein food.

Saturday, January 22, 2022

London Farm Show cancelled

The London Farm Show, which was to be held March 9 to 11 at the Western Fairgrounds, has been cancelled.

The rise in numbers of people infected with COVID-19 virus was the reason organizers cancelled the event.

People who booked space at the show will be reimbursed, the organizers said.

Evive Immunity Super F on recall

Evive Immunity Super F, promoted as the name suggests as a product that will build immunity, is instead capable of poisoning consumers.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has ordered a recall and is investigating further to determine if other Evive products should be recalled.

The problem with Evive Immunity Super F is that it contains raw elderberries, which contain cyanogenic glycosides, a natural toxin, the agency said on its website.

Evive Nutrition Inc. of Montreal markets its products via the internet.

The CFIA investigated after consumers complained about falling ill.

Friday, January 21, 2022

National school lunch program under study

Advocates for a national school lunch program say work has begun involving federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau and Katrina Gould, federal minister of families, children and social development.

To date, Canada is the only G7 country without a national school meal program. In 2017, UNICEF ranked Canada 37th out of 41 wealthy countries for kids' access to nutritious food.

But Debbie Field, co-ordinator of the Montreal-based non-profit Coalition for Healthy School Food, said in a CBC Radio interview that work is underway to change that.

"We're meeting with senior policy people and politicians of all parties because this is non-partisan."

According to a 2020 report from Statistics Canada, almost one in seven Canadians live in households where there was food insecurity.

In the United States, school lunches have become a political hot potato with various commodity groups and food processors vying for a place on the menus.

The U.S. program has also been plagued by problems because some suppliers cut corners and the food in not what it ought to be.

Pine River Cheese back in business

Pine River Cheese closed in September, 2019, but now a partnership between Lucknow Co-operative and TG Group is bringing it back.

The co-op has bought the property and TG Group will run it as a food service and production company.

“The plant will make past favourite cheese products, as well as new cheese offerings. And planning is under way to renovate the store and incorporate eat-in, catering and take-out options, and open an eatery, deli, pizzeria and gelato bar called ‘Pine River Cheese Mercato and Pizzeria’, the TG Group said.

“Pine River Cheese is currently hiring and anticipates being open for the summer season.”

A fire in 2009 closed the cheese factory for more than a year, impacting the company’s standing in the market, and it never fully recovered. The directors decided to throw in the towel in 2019.

By then it had been in business for 134 years, and 25 employees were affected by the closure.

Poultry industry running disease simulation

Ontario poultry farmers in the Niagara area have been chosen for a disease-outbreak simulation study by Farm Health Guardian.

The Feather Board Command Centre is organizing the poultry farmers for the simulation that will run from now until March. The command centre was established when avian influenza outbreaks needed to be contained.

“Our goal is to develop a better understanding of how poultry disease outbreak investigations and industry communications can be improved to reduce the transmission of poultry diseases,” said Rob Hannam, chief executive officer for Farm Health Guardian.

“Using the Farm Health Guardian digital platform to record and analyze movements of vehicles and people on and off their farms, farmers can evaluate their own biosecurity protocols and disease vulnerabilities.” 

The information is collected in real-time in a confidential database for the purpose of reducing disease spread and sending timely, precise disease alerts. 

“We expect to learn a lot by documenting the actual frequency and nature of movement on and off of poultry farms,” said Ingrid DeVisser, chair of the Feather Board.

It includes Chicken Farmers of Ontario, Egg Farmers of Ontario, Ontario Broiler Hatching Egg and Chick Commission, Turkey Farmers of Ontario, the Ontario Hatcheries Association, Poultry Services Association, Association of Ontario Chicken Processors and feed companies represented through the Ontario Agri Business Association as associate members. 

The entire poultry industry will benefit from the evaluation of this pilot project and participating farmers will gain a better understanding of biosecurity practices needed to protect their farms, the two organizations said in a joint news release.

Hannam said the Niagara Region was strategically selected for the pilot because of the concentration of poultry farms and the large number of service providers active in the area. 

“We’ve had great participation from feed companies, catching crews, processors and hatcheries. It’s great to see this because, after all, everyone shares a responsibility to protect our industry and biosecurity is our best defence.” 

The Farm Health Guardian and FBCC disease pilot and outbreak simulation is open to all poultry farmers in the Niagara Region and is still accepting participants. If you are interested in participating or learning more, please contact To learn more about Farm Health Guardian, visit

Corn yields shatter records

Agricorp reports that corn yields shattered records and soybeans were well above average last year.

Corn averaged 200 bushels per acre; the previous record was 185 in 2017.

Soybeans averaged 53 bushels per acre; the 10-year average is 47.

The statistics are based on reports from 1.36 million acres of corn and 1.88 million acres of soybeans insured with Agricorp.

Grain drying rebate criticized

Grain Growers of Canada says farmers will not benefit equally from a grain drying rebate program the federal government announced late last year.

The rebate for farmers in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario, the provinces where Ottawa administers the carbon tax, was included in the fall economic statement in mid-December but not widely publicized.

GGC executive director Erin Gowriluk said the association is pleased Ottawa recognized the problem, but the program formula is “a fairly blunt instrument” that offers no opportunity for customization.

“There’s going to be a significant amount of inequity in the way in which these rebates are distributed,” she said in an interview with the Western Producer newspaper.

Some of the GGC directors ran preliminary numbers and will get between 20 and 30 percent of their total carbon tax back.

“Some will definitely get more and others will get less depending on how the formula relates to their individual operation,” Gowriluk said.

 “It will depend on commodity. It will depend on where in the country they live, how dependent they may be on grain drying. The rebate for a corn farmer in Ontario will look very different than that of a grain farmer on the Prairies.”

For this year, the payment rates have been set at $1.47 per $1,000 in eligible expenses. In 2022, that rises to $1.73.

Eligible farming expenses are defined as the “amounts deducted in computing income from farming for tax purposes, excluding any deductions arising from mandatory and optional inventory adjustments and transactions with non-arm’s length parties.”

Bright future for North American dairy

There is a bright future for dairy farming in Canada and the United States because they have resources other countries lack to feed cattle, said a North Carolina professor in a recent talk about long-term trends in the dairy industry.

He began with a look back 50 years when milk production per cow in the United States averaged 9,751 pounds. It’s now 23,777 pounds.

The number of farms with dairy cattle has gone from 648,000 to 31,657 and the average U.S. herd size has increased from 19 to 300 head. 

Dr. Jack Britt, consultant and Professor Emeritus at North Carolina State University, shared his predictions during the 2021 Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council Annual Meeting in Kansas City, Mo.

He said the United States, Canada and Russia are the top three nations with enough cropland to increase milk production. China has the least available cropland relative to its number of cows.

World population predictions suggest that by 2070, 82 per cent  of the people in the world are going to live in Asia and Africa. The population of Africa is projected to grow by 146 per cent in that timeframe, while Europe will be down by 10.8 per cent.

The U.S. is currently leads the world in the number of cows to produce 100 litres of milk per day: 3.5 cows. The UK and Germany are tied for second and third at 4.5 cows. In less-developed companies such as Tanzania, it’s 176 cows. “That’s not sustainable,” Britt said.

Among Britt’s other observations and predictions were:

Cows are moving to larger herds worldwide, and when they enter those herds, they produce more milk.

Genome editing for the polled gene shows promise in both improving the welfare of calves and consumer acceptance of genome editing as a “gateway” to other edits.

There will be a lot more crossbred dairy cattle than purebreds, because crossbreds outperform Holsteins in fertility, health, and environmental footprint.

Milk and beef production will continue merging. Calves produced in dairy-style rearing systems produce less than half the greenhouse gases emitted by traditionally raised beef calves.

Dairies will migrate away from the seven states that currently produce 35 per cent of the milk in the United States, mostly due to water and feed availability. The major relocation target will be the upper Midwest.

“Carbon-neutral” farming will be embraced, assisted by innovative technologies to manage bedding, fertilizer, and potable water in closed-loop systems.

Britt also shared United Nations data that ranks the United States 50th out of the top 100 countries in fertilizer use, and 70th out of 100 in pesticide use. 

“Contrary to popular believe, we use our resources very precisely, and that’s a message that needs to be much more widely shared,” he said.



Thursday, January 20, 2022

Duroc promoted as brand-name pork

The National Swine Registry (NSR) is launching the first association-based branded pork program, calling it Certified DUROC Pork (CDP).

“We're focusing on how we can tell the story of Duroc from a standpoint of pork quality, making sure we deliver a quality-based product, and talking about the importance of utilizing Duroc genetics to enhance the consumer experience as well as the value of Duroc genetics for purebred breeders,” said Clay Zwilling,  chief executive officer for NSR in the United States.

Zwilling said consumers want to know where their pork comes from and that they are getting a quality product every time. 

“Between some of the promotional activities the National Pork Board has done from the standpoint of emphasizing proper cookery methods and proper pork cut selection, consumers are seeing pork as a great option and understanding that there is a quality differential, a taste differential, and a value differential there,” he said.

It’s a prime opportunity to address an industry gap.”

NSR is the organization that maintains the pedigree database for Duroc, Hampshire, Landrace and Yorkshire breeds of swine. 

It chose Duroc for branding because “with Duroc, we know inherently this breed has a higher level of intramuscular fat and marbling, better pH and better water holding capacity,” Zwilling said. 

He said there is opportunity to expand to other breeds, in particular Hampshire, but Durocs already have name recognition in the marketplace as well as proven quality superiority. 

South Korea lifts beef ban

South Korea has lifted its temporary ban on beef from Canada.

It imposed the ban in December after the Canadian Food Inspection Agency confirmed a case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE or mad cow’s disease) in an old Alberta cow.

This is "great news for our cattle sector," said federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau when she announced the lifting of the ban.



Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Avian flu infects poultry in South Carolina

A highly-pathogenic (deadly) strain of avian influenza has been identified in three wild birds in South Carolina.

It is the first time the highly-contagious disease has been found in the United States in six years.

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the United States Department of Agriculture is warning poultry farmers to take biosecurity precautions.

If the disease shows up in a commercial flock, government officials will require the birds to be slaughtered on the spot and a quarantine zone will be established around the farm.

Six years ago hundreds of thousands of birds were sacrificed to contain the disease. It also broke out in a few flocks in Ontario.

Marketing board co-operation, information and prompt action contained those outbreaks.

Biosecurity measures include avoiding contact with wild fowl, especially those migrating from the south.

If wildfowl frequent the area, thoroughly disinfecting footwear is also recommended.

Crocodile meat taking pork market in Thailand

The demand for crocodile meat is soaring because consumers in Thailand can’t afford pork.

African Swine Fever is one reason why pork is in short supply and costing about $6 per kilogram. Crocodile meat sells for $2 to $3 per kilogram.

Rapid inflation has resulted in a sudden country-wide increase in everything from street food to supermarkets, reports Reuters news agency.

About 20,000 crocodiles are slaughtered each month in Thailand for their meat – a figure that has doubled in recent months.

An average crocodile yields about 12 kilograms of meat, and though its different parts can be prepared in various ways, it’s the upper part of the tail that’s the tastiest and is the bestseller. Farmers and consumers say crocodile tastes like chicken.

Calgary company buys M&M

Parkland Corp. of Calgary is buying M&M for $322 million.

Parkland owns On The Run and Ultramar convenience stores and gas stations. M&M has 315 stores in 10 provinces marketing flash-frozen foods and meals.

The deal, subject to regulatory and other approvals, is expected to close sbefore spring, the companies said.

M&M Meat Shops opened its first store in a strip mall on Victoria Street in Kitchener in 1980, was owned by two professionals, Michael Voisin and Mark Nowak, and operated by their wives.

Searchlight Capital Partners bought the business in 2014.

M&M also has more than 2,000 M&M Express locations at retailers such as Rexall, Home Hardware and Circle K, and at Parkland-owned convenience store and fuel station chains such as On The Run, FasGas, Ultramar and Pioneer.

Under the Parkland deal, M&M’s brand, leadership, franchise system, store network and head office in Mississauga will “remain in place,” the company said in its release.