Alberta Institute of Agrologists 13th Annual Conference on Agriculture, Food and the Environment
Agriculture: Resources & Policy Session
March 16, 2017
Service and Trust in Changing Times (Darcy Fitzgerald, Alberta Pork)
Darcy Fitzgerald, Executive Director of Alberta Pork highlights some of the challenges Alberta pork producers face and ways that we hope to tackle them. The Alberta Pork Producers Development Corporation (Alberta Pork) formed in 1969 as a hog marketing board, controlled and directed by a producer Board of Directors. Board members are elected by other pork producers. From 1969 to 1996, APPDC’s primary purpose was to market all hogs, acting as a single desk seller. It also promoted and developed the hog/pork industry.
In 2001 the organization split into two separate companies: the Alberta Pork Producers Development Corporation (Alberta Pork) and the Western Hog Exchange (WHE). WHE became a private hog marketing organization. Producers can voluntarily use WHE to market hogs.
Alberta Pork is one of 21 marketing boards and commissions in Alberta operating under the Marketing of Agricultural Products Act. Alberta Pork is a self-sustaining, not-for-profit association operating on the Alberta pork producer’s behalf and as a voice for the industry. Alberta Pork collects a $1.00 per market hog levy. Funds are used to address issues and needs for the Alberta pork industry.
Since 1969, Alberta Pork has focused on service to the producer. It acts as a voice for producers to government and others. It builds trust with consumers through information on on-farm practice and food safety. Recently, Alberta Pork returned to more traditional support for producers with boots on the ground at the farm. This direct contact develops stronger basic services for our producers and ensures better two way communication to tackle challenges together.
Alberta Pork shifted its marketing efforts away from traditional retail and food service programs to a community support program. Working with our strong value chain partnerships enables the whole industry to truly support a community of consumers.
Agriculture and pork production are not easy businesses. But public and consumer trust starts with a foundation of sound on-farm practices and solid community engagement. Our producers know this. Alberta pork producers are committed to being the best at what they do and doing what is best for their community.