October 02, 2009

Canadian pork producers can soon start applying for government-backed loans.  Applications will also be available for the Hog Farm Transition Program later next week. 

The Government has worked in lock-step with the Canadian Pork Council to make sure the details of these important programs provide the help needed for producers.  We all know the Canadian pork industry can be profitable: It has been in the past and it will be again in the future.  That is why we are offering government-backed loans to help producers weather the current turmoil in the market.  But we also know the industry needs to restructure and the Government has been working with the Canadian Pork Council to deliver funding for those who need to transition to another sector.  Farmers have the choice to access the program that works best for them.

Starting Monday, October 5, 2009, many financial institutions, including Farm Credit Canada, will be ready to work with pork producers to develop long-term business plans and deliver government-backed loans. Producers can check to find out which institutions are currently participating. The commercially based loans will be negotiated for each specific farm operation and based on viable business plans. By using government backed loans, Canadian pork producers will have better access to credit and the opportunity to restructure for the long term.

The Government of Canada and the Canadian Pork Council are also partnering to deliver $75 million through the Hog Farm Transition Program. The Canadian Pork Council will have registration forms for the program available to producers on October 8, 2009. The program will be retroactive to April 1, 2009, therefore, producers who depopulate their barns prior to applying for the program will still be eligible. Applications will be based on a tendering process that allows producers to bid for the amount of funding they require to take their barns out of operation for at least three years. 

Producers will be able to visit the Canadian Pork Council’s web site for the most up-to-date information and registration forms on October 8, 2009. 

These are important programs; one will allow producers to access credit they need to manage through the current difficulties while the other will provide assistance to set aside production.  In addition to these programs is the $17-million International Pork Marketing Fund the Government of Canada has set up to invest in market research, promotion and access initiatives to find new customers for Canadian pork products. 

For more information on these programs, visit: or call 1-877-842-5601.

Until next time. . .

Earl Dreeshen, MP
Red Deer