A Promising Future for Quebec's Pork Industry: The Fédération des producteurs de porcs du Québec Comes to a New Agreement with Processors



    LONGUEUIL, QC, May 12 /CNW Telbec/ - After 18 months of talks and intense
negotiations, Quebec's pork producers and processors have settled on an
historic new marketing agreement.
    The 3,900 pork producers represented by the Fédération des producteurs de
porcs du Québec (FPPQ) and almost all abattoirs representing 98% of slaughter
pigs have signed a new agreement establishing an innovative and expansive way
of doing business.
    "This is a great moment for us," said Mr. Jean-Guy Vincent, President of
the Fédération des producteurs de porcs du Québec. "This new agreement is
proof of everyone's will to work together to create a prosperous future for
Quebec's pork sector, especially on the world stage."
    "From the outset, we signed the agreement with the idea of developing a
lasting relationship with producers," said Réjean Nadeau, President and CEO of
Olymel. "We believe in the agreement and want to work together to become
stronger competitors on the world stage."
    Throughout discussions, the FPPQ always took care to preserve the
collective marketing agreement. The new agreement will mean major changes in
the marketing of Quebec pork. For example, all pigs will be allotted to
specific abattoirs, changing the FPPQ's online auction service through which
pork has been sold for the past 20 years. The auction method that allowed
price fixing will cease as soon as the new agreement comes into effect.

    The agreement was unanimous:

    "With this new agreement, whereby pork is assigned to the same plants,"
commented Vincent Breton from Viandes du Breton Inc., "there will be an
improvement in the relationship between producers and processors. With this
new channel of communication now open, we look forward to new opportunities to
improve the industry."
    "For us," added Mario Côté from the Hébert abattoir "buyers' confidence
in greater overall equity toward the partners in terms of slaughter pigs was
essential."
    "The past few weeks have shown the good will of everyone involved toward
an agreement between producers and abattoirs," said Mr. Jean-François Proulx,
Manager of Viandes Dubreuil Inc. "These efforts will also be felt in business
relations between the parties and will help the marketing of pork in Québec."
    After the Coulombe Report, submitted in March of 2008, the FPPQ had
decided to follow the suggestions offered by Mr. Coulombe. The FPPQ hired a
negotiator, Mr. Marcel Ostiguy, a processor by trade who, along with Mr.
Jean-Guy Vincent, engaged in discussions with abattoirs throughout 2008. The
discussions intensified resulting in an agreement-in-principle with 5
abattoirs in June of 2008. On December 8th, when the document was to be
ratified, Olymel was the only signatory present, forcing the parties to use
the services of a facilitator, Mr. Guy Blanchet. In February of 2009, at the
end of the conciliation period and still deadlocked, the parties went before
the Régie to initiate arbitration proceedings. Against all expectations,
negotiations continued day and night until the May 8th deadline, finally
culminating in a negotiated agreement.
    "First of all," added Mr. Vincent, "We would like to thank the abattoirs
for keeping an open mind throughout discussions. I would also like to extend a
very warm thank you to the Board of Directors and employees at the FPPQ who
have managed the talks with skill, resulting in a profitable outcome for all
of us."

    ABOUT THE FPPQ

    The Fédération des producteurs de porcs du Québec represents the
interests of 3,900 producers from 12 regional syndicates. Pork producers raise
7.5 million hogs annually generating 1.5 billion dollars in revenue benefiting
every region in Québec and employing 24,000 people. Sixty percent of pork
produced in Québec is exported to over 75 countries. www.leporcduquebec.qc.ca




For further information:

For further information: Stéphanie Fortin, Public Relations Advisor,
Fédération des producteurs de porcs du Québec, (450) 679-0540, extension 8542,
sfortin@upa.qc.ca; Source: Fédération des producteurs de porcs du Québec

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Fédération des producteurs de porcs du Québec

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