by SUSAN MANN
A pork industry committee has been set up to decide what to do with the estimated $280,000 in the discontinued In-Transit Losses Account.
The money in the account has been held in trust since the program was discontinued in May 2007. The former program provided coverage for hogs marketed through the Ontario Pork Producers Marketing Board that died in transit between the farm of origin and the slaughter plant. The program ran successfully for more than 25 years but in 2006 industry partners recognized funds would be depleted before the end of 2007. The contributing partners couldn’t agree on an updated funding formula so the program was discontinued.
Keith Robbins, Ontario Pork communications manager, says the original program was funded by producers, transporters and processors. Those three industry groups are now represented on the Industry Betterment Committee that will make decisions on which projects to fund with the money in the account.
The committee has already heard from groups that talked about their proposals and recommendations, Robbins says. It’s looking to fund projects and activities that would benefit the entire industry.
Robbins says the committee talked about funding projects that would help drive efficiencies and that positively portrayed the sector. “They wanted things that had a really quick turnaround in value back to the sector,” he notes.
The committee’s decisions on which projects get funding will be made public, Robbins says, adding he isn’t sure when the decisions will be made. BF