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Manitoba Turkey Producers Enjoy Another Record Year

Another Record Year


January 14, 2008
By Myron Love

Topics

Manitoba Turkey Producers General Manager Sheila Perry believes 2005
was another record year for the province, surpassing last year’s record
of 3,, 376,000 kilograms in product sales.

Manitoba Turkey Producers General Manager Sheila Perry believes 2005 was another record year for the province, surpassing last year’s record of 3,, 376,000 kilograms in product sales.

Although the final figures for 2005 aren't in yet, Perry says that the sales figures for last year were higher than the year before. “We were actually short of product last year,” she said.

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She attributes the growth in sales in part to the popularity of McDonald's new turkey deli sandwiches — which the other fast food chains have been quick to copy — and to the MTP's and CMTA's successful efforts to convince the public that turkey is a product to be enjoyed year-round rather than just at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

“We have placed a lot of emphasis in our promotions on turkey as a summer barbecue item,” Perry said.

While Manitoba turkey sales were up, exports were down last year. Perry attributes that largely to greater domestic demand. In particular, Granny's Poultry, the primary turkey processor in Manitoba, has introduced several new cooked turkey products including turkey kielbasa, skinless smokies and sausage smokies,  which appeal to health-conscious consumers.

In introducing the new products at the MTP's 37th Annual Meeting, held March 7 in Winnipeg, Brian Walker, Granny's director of business development and marketing, noted that turkey is a low fat protein and that the new products are lactose- and gluten-free and contain no trans fat or MSG. 

In her producer board report, MTP chair Emmy Byle touched on the aviation flu concerns, WTO negotiations, the CMTA's On-Farm Food Safety program, stock levels and pricing.  Producers were also informed that the maximum quota retirement price for 2006-7 — beginning April 30 — has been set at $2.96 a kilo for Manitoba Producers, up from $2.90 a kilo last year.

Storage stocks in Manitoba as of January 1, 2006, were 904,604 kg, up from 755,406 kg the previous year.

The producers attending the Annual Meeting also heard from: Rosann Wowchuk, Manitoba's Minister of Agriculture, who reaffirmed the provincial government's strong support for the supply management system; CMTA Chair Mark Davies; Dr. Wayne Lees, Manitoba's new Chief Veterinary officer; and representatives of the Keystone Agricultural Producers, Manitoba's largest farm organization and the National Farm Products Council.