Hog producers in Prince Edward Island (PEI) have been impacted by COVID-19 outbreaks and disease control measures at processing plants, and many producers are being forced to keep hogs on-farm beyond their standard lifecycle. This has resulted in extraordinary feed and maintenance costs which have put a financial strain on their operations.
Today, Member of Parliament for Malpeque, the Honourable Wayne Easter, on behalf of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, and PEI’s Minister of Agriculture and Land, the Honourable Bloyce Thompson, announced the launch of an initiative under the AgriRecovery Framework to provide up to $500,000 to assist hog producers affected by processing shut downs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program will be funded through AgriRecovery, a Federal-Provincial-Territorial disaster relief framework to help producers faced with the extraordinary costs associated with recovering from disasters, and will be cost shared on a 60/40 basis between Canada and PEI.
This Initiative will provide assistance for up to 90 per cent of the cost to feed market-ready hogs held back from processing, and to manage surplus hogs whose welfare is at risk. The PEI Department of Agriculture and Land will administer program applications and payments to producers.
“Our hog producers have been hit hard by the effects of the pandemic on meat processing plants. With today’s announcement, our Government is directly helping PEI hog producers who are facing added costs during this unprecedented time, so they can continue to provide their high-quality products in PEI and across Canada.”
– The Honourable Wayne Easter, Member of Parliament for Malpeque
“The Department of Agriculture and Land supports our hardworking Island farm communities. PEI Farmers are our neighbors. They are family. They are entrepreneurs committed to nurture and protect a healthier environment. Our government is pleased to join with federal partners in order to provide assistance to hog farmers in this time of need.”
– The Honourable Bloyce Thompson, PEI Minister of Agriculture and Land
“The COVID pandemic has had a significant impact on the PEI hog industry due to the inability to get hogs to market in a timely manner. This resulted in financial burdens which compounded the already stressful situation and the industry is very grateful for both the Federal and Provincial governments in stepping forward to assist affected producers through the AgriRecovery program in this time of need.”
– Dale Murray, Chairman, PEI Pork
AgriRecovery is a disaster relief framework that is part of a suite of federal-provincial-territorial Business Risk Management (BRM) programs under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. It is intended to work together with the core BRM programs to help agricultural producers recover from natural disasters.
In May 2020, the Government of Canada announced the launch of national AgriRecovery initiatives of up to $100 million in assistance for extraordinary costs of managing livestock backed-up on farms (hogs and cattle), due to the temporary closure of food processing plants affected by COVID-19. The federal government also announced it will provide the federal share of funding without requiring provincial contributions, and will cover up to 90 per cent of eligible extraordinary costs, up from 70 per cent coverage under standard AgriRecovery responses. These changes were in place for the 2020-21 fiscal year to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.
There are 12 commercial hog producers producing 70,000 hogs per year on PEI.
Since May 2020, AgriRecovery Initiatives for livestock have been announced in Alberta, Ontario, Manitoba, Quebec and Saskatchewan.
Federal, provincial and territorial governments invest, on average, close to $1.6 billion annually in business risk management programs to help producers remain viable under difficult circumstance. These programs include AgriInsurance, AgriStability, AgriInvest, and AgriRecovery.