CPRC Update: December 2011
The Canadian Poultry Research Council, in co-operation with poultry industry stakeholders, has co-ordinated the development of a National Poultry Research Strategy. Our July 2010 Update reported the results of a workshop that brought together approximately 60 representatives from industry, academia and government to examine Canada’s poultry research agenda and discuss issues and opportunities. This workshop was a very important step in the process, and the report, which includes a copy of the draft strategic plan, can be found on our website at www.cp-rc.ca/2010_Update/2010_events.html#2010.
Workshop discussions were based on a draft research strategy that CPRC prepared as a starting point for the workshop sessions. Input from the workshop has been incorporated into a new draft and is being reviewed by industry, researchers and other stakeholders for further comment. The national poultry organizations have had an important influence on the direction of the strategy through their discussions with their members. Although not everyone will agree with all parts of the strategy, we all realize that the final purpose of research is to benefit the end users, whether farmers, processors, consumers or society as a whole. The strategy reflects industry consensus on poultry research priorities.
There are good reasons to develop, and regularly review, a research strategy for the Canadian poultry industry. First, research funding is limited and resources need to be managed carefully to ensure a good return on investment. Good planning is important to success and a National Poultry Research Strategy provides the approach to direct those investments to important areas.
Second, a comprehensive National Poultry Research Strategy development and review process ensures that stakeholders have an opportunity to provide input on their priorities and concerns. This input is critical to a well-targeted research strategy.
Third, a National Poultry Research Strategy does not just stop at identifying areas of research interest: it also includes approaches to supporting and enhancing our research resources (scientists and facilities) to ensure high-quality and effective results. This part of the strategy includes a focus on supporting and developing future poultry researchers as they progress through their education. We have to create opportunities for students to become poultry researchers by providing programs and infrastructure to attract and support them.
Fourth, a National Poultry Research Strategy includes methods for moving research results along the research continuum to the end user so that the knowledge developed can be applied to generate benefits. Communication of results is one of the most important and difficult areas of research. Results have to be effectively relayed to the correct level of the research chain so that they are acted upon, whether that next step is applied research, innovation or application of results.
Finally, a National Poultry Research Strategy must be a “living” document, flexible enough to adjust to changes in the environment within which our industry operates. It must be reviewed regularly and CPRC will co-ordinate an annual review of the strategy to determine if it continues to reflect industry research needs.
The strategy will be used by many industry stakeholders to enhance the long-term viability of the Canadian poultry sector.
- The strategy document will provide researchers with information on topics that are considered to be important by the whole industry.
- Government will be able to design programs and policies that support industry-identified research priorities.
- Funding organizations will be able to assess new projects and programs in relation to the research priorities identified in the strategy.
- Producers and their organizations, input suppliers, processors and the general public will be able to evaluate poultry research direction in relation to their interests and priorities.
- CPRC will use the document in its research funding activities but it will also provide us with a valuable resource as the organization evolves to fulfil its national mandate of research support, co-ordination and communication. CPRC’s own strategic planning process will be more effective with the National Poultry Research Strategy as a guide.
The National Poultry Research Strategy will be invaluable in our research planning procedures for the next round of federal government programs, popularly known as Growing Forward 2. It is likely that the next program will include research funding, possibly similar to that of the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada program that supports the existing Poultry Research Cluster.
The strategy will not only provide information upon which we can develop our research proposal but also will assure federal authorities that the research for which funding is requested is supported by the Canadian poultry industry. A draft of the National Poultry Research Strategy is available on the CPRC website.
The membership of the CPRC consists of the Chicken Farmers of Canada, the Canadian Hatching Egg Producers, the Turkey Farmers of Canada, the Egg Farmers of Canada and the Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors’ Council. CPRC’s contact information is available at www.cp-rc.ca .