Farmscape for February 2, 2018
Consumers have sent out the signal that, in some cases, they are prepared to pay a premium for meat from animals that have been raised without the use of antibiotics.
Dr. Greg Wideman, a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine with South West Ontario Veterinary Services, observes there is now a number of different programs in Canada and even more in the U.S. for antibiotic free production.
Clip-Dr. Greg Wideman-South West Ontario Veterinary Services:
The interest is coming from, I think, an engagement and an understanding of the global issue of antimicrobial resistance and the potential role that antimicrobial use in farming might have on that.
In addition to that there are some marketing opportunities that allow for capturing increased revenue that are available to farmers who undertake this program.
There's a lot of uncertainty about the increased cost of production required to successfully engage in an antibiotic free program.
We're in early days of understanding how that will work itself out and how big that market will grow.
There are some cautionary tales out there where the supply of antibiotic free livestock, chickens is what I'm specifically thinking about, outstrips the demand.
That can really make it very complicated to find the value proposition to continue doing antibiotic free production.
At this point we don't know what the eventual market space out there is available for antibiotic free pork meat but, for now, it seems like there are opportunities available for pig producers in most parts of the country.
Dr. Wideman says antibiotic free production requires a higher level of management in all areas than conventional production.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork