SHERBROOKE, Quebec – Farm cash receipts from Canada’s pork and hog sector reached $4.5 billion in 2017. As a key driver of the Canadian economy, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAulay, announced a federal investment of up to $12.7 million to Swine Innovation Porc, under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership's AgriScience Clusters.

AgriScience Clusters facilitate relationships between industry, government and academia. They address Canadian priority issues in the agricultural sector.

Swine Innovation Porc, a non-profit corporation committed to facilitating research in the Canadian swine sector, will contribute up to an additional $5.8 million to the Swine Research and Development Cluster for a total value of up to $18.5 million.

"This investment in research and development is excellent news for the Canadian swine sector. Science and innovation are the keys to the long-term success of Canadian producers and the industry at large,” said Stewart Cressman, chairman of Swine Innovation Porc, in a statement. “We are confident that the outcomes from this research program will drive sustainable growth and strengthen the competitivity of the Canadian pork industry. We want to express our thanks to Minister MacAulay for this timely and significant investment that gives Swine Innovation Porc the opportunity to even better serve the whole pork value chain."

The money is earmarked for the examination immunity from disease relative to feeding piglets, methods of quality-based pork classification and effects of long-distance transport of early weaned pigs. This research will build on two previous Swine Clusters, which included projects focusing on animal nutrition research, and animal health and welfare research.

"Pork farmers rely on research and innovation to implement new practices and tools that help them improve their sustainability, while remaining competitive,” MacAulay said. “Today's investment will ensure Canada's pork industry continues to sustainably produce high-quality products at home, and remain a top exporter in the world, which is good for our economy and for creating good, well-paying jobs for Canadians across the country."

Minister MacAulay made the announcement as part of his “Growing Canadian Agriculture” tour. During the tour he will meet with processors, farmers and industry leaders and participate in agricultural events across the country listening to ideas on how to capture new growth opportunities for the sector.