Behind the Lines - December 2010

“Turbulence is life force. It is opportunity. Let's love turbulence and use it for change.” So said author and eternal optimist Norman Vincent Peale. He would have loved the Ontario pork industry.

In a search for views on the pending changes in marketing hogs in Ontario, Better Pork writer Don Stoneman asked producers what the separation of marketing and universal services, that takes place on Dec. 4, means to them. That story starts on page 6. A surprising number of producers weren’t able to be contacted.

In our Second Look column, University of Guelph research associate Randy Duffy explores Statistics Canada’s Farm Financial Survey. Using the financial yardsticks of Return On Assets and Return On Equity, he compares producers in Quebec, Manitoba and Ontario, and comes to some striking conclusions as to their comparative profitability. His column is on page 38.

As we were going to press, two more remarkable announcements came to light. One was the change in leadership at the Progressive Pork Producers Co-operative and owner of the third largest pork processing plant in the province, which packs about 14,000 hogs a week. The other announcement was the sale of Maple Leaf Food’s Burlington plant to an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners Inc. for about $20 million. More details of these two developments in the Ontario pork industry can be found at, the website of our sister publication, Better Farming. 

Had enough change yet? Keep your head up. To quote author Peale again; “The tests of life are not meant to break you, but to make you.” BP


Better Pork - December 2010