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Organic Swine Production

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Michelle Yang

on 23 November 2013

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Transcript of Organic Swine Production

Challenges: Breeding
Finding breeding stock from organic units (non-organic breeds
be incorporated into herd).
Little genetic improvement?
Need high-health or resilient breeds for biosecurity measures.
Organic Swine Production
Organic Pork Standards in Canada
Requirements: Diet & Feed
Requirements: Breeding
What is organic swine production?
Main goals:
Take an integrated & holistic approach
Promote economic & environmental sustainability
It is largely consumer-driven:
- seeks to meet the desires of the consumers.
Consumer demands:
Ecological & animal welfare
Meat products free of synthetic substances, antibiotics, GM-cereals, hormones, etc... (more on this later)
Safety and quality of products; perception of health.
Thank you for listening!
Questions? Comments?
Main challenges with organic swine production
Organic Pork Certification
Submit a request to the Committee Accreditation for Evaluation of Quality (CAEQ)
evaluation for over 6 -12 months
classify as accredited certification body
apply to a company that carries organic certificate
Certification bodies (some examples)
Housing & Facilities
Interview with an organic producer in Quebec
Ludovic Beauregard
Organic Pork Producer
Ferme des Arpents Roses, Sainte-Mélanie
Requirements: Biosecurity Measures
Provincial standards
All provinces are following the standards set by the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB)
- except for BC.
Quebec used to have their own standards under CAAQ (
Conseil des appellations agroalimentaires du Quebec
January 1, 2012: Quebec joins standards under CGSB.

Health and disease management
Biosecurity measures
Nutrient and feeding management
Production challenges (carcass quality, performance)
*HOWEVER: Organic swine producers place the most value on creating a sustainable and harmonious agro-ecosystem. Primary concern isn't to maximize production!
Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) -
official national standards for organic agriculture.
Organic Production Systems - General Principles and Management Standards
handbook can be found on Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada website
Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)
Cannot include:
Feed medications, antibiotics
Growth & lactation promoters
Synthetic appetite enhancers
Animal-based by-products
GMO cereals or crops
1. Organically-produced agricultural products
2. Non-synthetic substances
3. Approved synthetic substances
Feed & Diet: Challenges
Health & disease management
Increased weaning age
Meeting nutrient requirements
Need to formulate feed from alternative sources
Lack of non-GMO varieties

Access to:
Outdoors (shade, shelter)
Rotational pasture
Fresh air & natural daylight
- Stocking density
Organic Production Systems General Principles and Management Standards
(Simpson, 2011)
(Simpson, 2011)
Dry (straw, wood shavings)
Solid floors preferred
Must permit rooting!
Housing & Facilities
Health & disease management (parasites, pathogens, weather)
Contact with other wildlife
Carcass quality & traits
Pasture management
Soil & water quality management
(Simpson, 2011)
Sanitary & disinfected conditions
Maintain closed herds
Traffic control
Sufficient space
Pathogen & parasite monitoring
Vaccination & temporary confinement are allowed!
Organic pig sources:
: Born from or raised under certified organic units.
: continuous organic management from last trimester of gestation (38 days).
Natural breeding preferred; AI also allowed.

(Simpson, 2011)
In summary...
Organic swine production is still a niche market in Canada. (It is still a growing market, nevertheless).
Requirements are centered around animal and agro-ecosystem welfare, not always maximum production.
Organic swine production is not for everyone!
Takes time, hard work, thorough research, facility management.

1 to 3 years
depending on growing the organic feed
products do not count as organic
Blair, R. Nutrition and Feeding of Organic Pigs; CAB International: Trowbridge, UK, 2007.
Meerburg, B. G.; Vermeer, H. M.; Kijlstra, A. Controlling risks of pathogen transmission by flies on organic pig farms: A review. Outlook on Agriculture. 2007, 36, 193—197.
Simpson, G. An overview of organic pork production. Factsheet Order No. 11-043; OMAFRA: Elora, ON, 2011.
Strudsholm, K.; Hermansen, J. E. Performance and carcass quality of fully or partly outdoor reared pigs in organic production. Livestock Production Science. 2005, 96, 261—268.
Whitney, M.; Shurson, J.; Johnston, L.; Koehler, B.; Hadad, R.; Koehler, D. Feeding for niche swine production. National Swine Nutrition Guide; Factsheet 07-07-01; U.S. Pork Center of Excellence: Des Moines, IA, 2010.

(OMAFRA, 2010)
Full transcript