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The Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - January 19, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta 16 THE LETHBRIOGE HERALD Saturday, January 19, 1974 Average consumer sympathetic to cattlemen, says rep The average consumer, while wondering where the food dollar goes, is sympathetic with the cattleman who operates a high risk business without the power to set the price he receives for his product, according to an official of'the Con- sumer Association of Canada. Francis Schultz of Monarch told about 120 ranchers at a beef seminar in Lethbridge Friday she knows the prices producers get for cattle have dropped from highs in 1973 and "nobody feels they (retail prices) are too high when con- sidering the present feed and hay costs." She said consumers can see in the newspaper the price cattlemen get for their animals and they know the retail prices by shopping in stores. It is the area of the food chain between the producer and the retailer that is a question mark for the consumer. Mrs Schultz said many consumers know the producers returns have decreased and they ex- pect the retail prices to decrease also. But retail prices respond very slowly. It is time to ask about markups in the beef production chain, she said. Chris Mills, secretary of the Canadian Cattlemen's Association in Calgary, said this gets into the area of rip-offs and the only body that can handle price gouging is the government. George Blochert, an officer of the provincial consumer affairs department, said it isn't the role of the government or consumer to set the price of a product. That is the job for the market place. The beef industry is segmented with many in- dividuals, he said. The industry must co-ordinate the segments to meet the responsibility to make beef available to the public at a fair price all along the production chain. But the industry has to find out what the con- sumer wants and then meet those needs. And part of this process is public education. Does the consumer understand the grading system and is there room in Canada for lower quality beef cuts He said the consumer, largely an urban resident, must be made aware of cheaper cuts of meat and the use of cattle organs that really is only a sociological stigma in Canada. Food buying habits also must be taught to the public, he said. This includes bulk purchases. The consumer should know if he is dealing with a reputable dealer. Freezer purchases aren't the only answer either. Consumers must realize that the price and depreciation of the freezer adds to the cost of the meat in the long run. And consumers who finance food to make bulk purchases have to realize that there is an interest charge they pay. Under this plan, they actually lose money in many cases. And with all this information, the consumer can look forward to increased beef prices in 1974 compared to 1973, said Ron Tolton, head of the Meat Packers Council of Canada in Calgary. Mr. Tolton said cattle numbers slaughtered in Canada in 1973 reached This was only slightly higher than the total of in 1972 and Mr. Tolton predicts cattle production in Western Canada will decrease in 1974. This can only result in higher beef prices for the consumer. And higher beef prices can encourage the use, of beef substitutes, he said. The best method to beat competition from these substitutes is to protect the quality of beef. Inflation blamed for beef prices Inflation has been tagged as the villain of high beef retail prices by the Canadian Cattlemen's Association. In a special seminar co- sponsored by the association, the Alberta Cattle Commis- sion and the Alberta depart- ment of agriculture in Lethbridge Friday, Chris Mills, secretary of the association said the consumer is still getting a good buy. He said when the federal food prices review board was put together, government felt the cause of high prices had to lay somewhere between the producer and consumer. "It was looking for the villain and we said the government was that villain." Mr. Mills said wages since 1961 had more than doubled for the average Canadian from an arbitrary point of 100 to 222. During the same period, producers income from the sales of cattle increased from 100 to 184 while retail beef prices rose from 100 to 186. This meant that the con- sumer could buy more beef, even at the inflated prices, in 1973 than in 1961 with an equivalent portion of his work day. Even after buying beef, the consumer now has more money left over from his pay cheque. Baribo-Maid Round Steak Boards Treated to prevent warp- ing and splitting. Can- adian made. Each Only 2 29 Phono 327-5767 608 3rd Avo. S. Even with the increasing beef prices, producers aren't any better off because their costs of production are rising just as fast. Pointing to charts of cost within the beef production chain, Mr. Mills said the price the producer gets for the animal and the price the packer charges for the car- cass at the wholesale level is very close. "The packer isn't taking a big profit." But between the wholesale level and the retailer, there can be a wide variance of price. And it all depends on the type of competition between retailers. The January price spread between the wholesale and retail level is usually about eight cents but it can vary up to 30 cents per pound. And on the Toronto market, the wholesale and retail prices are closer than in Calgary, especially since last November when the retail prices in Calgary were much higher than the average and much higher than the wholesale price. Mr. Mills said the producer was almost at a crossroads in his market outlook go with the ups and downs of the pre- sent open market system or allow the government to es- tablish some price protection in the form of floor prices, stabilization or equalization. Saskatchewan and British Columbia want floor prices for all agricultural produc- tion. When they get them, they will then want the federal government to enforce them across Canada he predicted. "These have implications on the whole food pricing he said The government has to assure a supply of food to regulate the industry and it can't do that by freezing the food prices. Canada has been following the cheap food policy. There has been an imbalance between the cost of producing food and the cost of other products used to make that food, he said. Expand to demand, experts tell cattlemen FOX DENTURE CLINIC Est 1922 PHONE 327-6585 E. S. P. FOX, C.O.M. FOX LETHBRIDGE DENTAL LAB 204 MEDICAL DENTAL BLDQ. RICK ERVIN photo Pooped! All that shopping and tramping arounH downtown is enough to make anyone tired, and 3-year-old Rana jth Ave. S is no exception. And after carrtying Rana around through a few stores, mother will probably feel the same as daughter. Canada best market Canada is its own best market for beef according to Archie Murphy, manager of Canada Dressed Meats in Lethbridge. Speaking to about 120 producers at a livestock seminar in Lethbridge Friday, Mr. Murphy said the first market for Canadian beef should be right here at home because Canada is still a net importer of beef. He said 158.7 million pounds of beef was brought into Canada last year while only 67 million pounds was exported. This means 91 million RAIN WADE announces HYDROSTATIC POWEROLL BERGMAN'S FLOOR COVERINGS CwtM SMILEY'S PLUMBING Opm Thurt. Frl. Phone 321-0372 2716 12th Avo. S. GLASS LINED WATER HEATERS INSTALLED Phorw 321-2176 INSTALLATION ELECTRONIC AIR CLEANERS You can regulate Speed and Power to fit the load and land contour. Gome In this week ...test drive this new Poweroll Available now at. OLIVER INDUSTRIAL SUPPLY LTD. 2M LefhferMge Phone 327-1S71 or the "OLIVER DEALER" Merest yew pounds of beef eaten in Canada was produced outside the country. He said the logical transpor- tation for Western Canadian beef was north and south, not east and west. Frank Kehoe, commodity officer for the export division of the Alberta department of agriculture, said Montreal isn't going to continue to be the major market place for Alberta-grown beef The ma- jority of Lethbridge-processed beef is now shipped to Montreal markets. He said there is a market for tons of beef annual- ly in California and that Alberta presently supplies only two per cent. If Alberta production could be shipped to California, the transportation would be reduced. Montreal markets could be supplied more cheaply from the beef centre of the United States in Iowa and Nebraska By Ric Swihart Herald Staff Writer Agriculture experts Friday agreed livestock producers should expand their operations to meet a growing world demand for red meats. Attending a beef seminar in Lethbridge, Pete Apedaile, an economist at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, said Canada is still a net importer of beef. And by 1980, with the per capita consumption of beef expected to increase to 100 pounds yearly from 92, the beef herd in Canada will have to jump from the present 13 million to 18 million head. He said there were several limitations to increased production, including: growing problem of feeding and handling cow herds. The majority of cow herds in the province are in Southern Alberta and the area is reaching the saturation point for adequate pasture regions. risk to the cow-calf operator who supplies the animals for breeding instead of slaughter. He said more cattle production must be en- couraged in areas of heavy forage production that will provide adequate food supplies for these cattle. producer must be assured stability in feed costs. He suggested a futures market for feed grains so producers can buy feed grain several months into the future at a price they determine now. consumer must be protected from price rip-offs. The provincial department of consumer affairs must seek the legal powers from political leaders to ensure price protection for con- sumers. must come up with a better variety of cuts of meats to make the beef a more attractive product. Jim Dawson, economist for the Alberta department of agriculture, told the crowd beef production should be ex- panded. He said 70 per cent of Alber- ta's production is moved out of the province, the majority to eastern Canada. He said this should change and Alber- ta's production should be sold to the highest bidder. This will add more money to the producer's pocket. And if more beef is grown in the province, more money will be added to the economy. Livestock is the real key to the Alberta economy, he claimed. He stressed that producers shouldn't worry about increas- ed production in Alberta affecting the price for the product. The Canadian market price is tied closely to the U.S. so a 10 per cent increase in production in Alberta won't mean a 10 per cent decrease in the price of live animals. The expansion of the livestock industry in Alberta rests with the cow-calf operator. He should strive for bigger cattle carcasses to give more meat per animal, better utilization of land through range management, develop- ment of fringe areas through HEMTZ PRINTERS STATIONERS LTD. 324-tth St. t. Phone 32S-177I FOR YOUR COMPLtTt WEDDING REQUIREMENTS Anneiincimenle VM Cerde We provide complimentary personalized MM table place cards wttri each order' FMl CUSTOMtR PARHWO GUARANTEED SERVICE To SONY. LLOYDS, PIONEER, NORCSCO, ind most other of ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT 2 tochnlclwN to MFVC you ANQLO STEREO ft PHOTO SERVICE DEPT. 4 v the use of community pastures and better herd management to lessen calving deaths. Gordon Ross, regional livestock specialist for Southern Alberta for the Alberta department of agriculture, said profit is the key incentive for increased livestock production. He said he wants to see the day when fewer calves are shipped out of the province and more are fed to slaughter weight here. Producers can make more money by keeping the calves and processing them in Alberta. Besides, he said, cows are one of the best sources of collateral with most bankers. Mr. Ross then pointed to four major geographic regions in Southern Alberta and how livestock numbers can be increased in each. In the dryland, shortgrass regions of Southern Alberta, ranchers can increase the cat- tle carrying capacity of the pastures by six times if they will plant domestic grasses in place of the natural prairie wool. ART DIETRICH DENTURE CLINIC DENTAL MECHANIC SOiwirtzlHi Phone 328-4095 FURNACES (IN STOCK) SHEET METAL WORK POWER HUHWHftERS Hnv Wfnrl I by aw n.s. RUM tt7-M1l Stock watering facilities would have to be built to ac- commodate the increase cat- tle numbers but this would pay. In the foothills regions, where there is more water, native trees are encroaching on valuable pastureland. He said producers have lost a lot of production to willow and poplar trees because they take up space needed for grass production. In the irrigation areas, increased land costs means producers have to diversify their production to maximize returns. But the by-products of some of these diversified crops can be turned into cattle feed. In the dryland grain farm- ing regions, cattle numbers can be increased most significantly, he said. There are thousands of, acreas of dryland grain areas, which aren't fenced meaning cattle can't use the land. Because only one half of the weight of cereal plants -are used in the harvest process, nutritional value remains in the straw and leaves that can support cattle. Drug trial ordered A Hardieville man was com- mitted to stand trial in district court for possession of mari- juana for the purposes of traf- ficking on the basis of evidence, heard in a preliminary hearing in provin- cial court Friday. Allan Eugene Bettger was arrested Oct. 24 in Lethbridge by RCMP narcotics agents. A date for his trial will be set Feb. 5. Publication of evidence presented.during the hearing; was at the of Bettger's lawyer, Ken vis. Smuggling warrant issued A warrant has been issued for the arrest of a Calgary man accused of importing 51 kilos of marijuana into Canada. Adrian Henry Gorton, 26, failed to appear in provincial court Friday morning. He was released on bail after being arrested at Coutts Jan. 9. A Nobleford man was fined in provincial court Friday and prohibited from driving for a year after pleading guil- ty to a charge of impaired driving. Lewis Walter Phillips, 33, was arrested near Coalhurst Dec. 22 by RCMP. It was his second such offense in less than a year. CwlinidOmtilMKkiflic CLIFF BLACK. BLACK DENTAL LAB MEDICAL DENTAL BIOS Lower PHONE FUEL SAVING! You will fMl M lower provided tho humidity right. Have a POWER HUMIDIFIER CHARLTON HILL LTD. 1262-2nd AVI. S. Phoni 328-3388 MOVING? CALL OWEN A6ENTSFOR ALLIED VAN LINES Chlckon Chow Moin SwMt end Sour Sparerlta OMp Friod BrMdod or Chlckon Chicken Fried Rice ALL FOR ONLY Delivered to Your Piping Hotl SPECIAL Family Dinner FOR 2 ADULTS; AND 2 CHILDREN 4.75 OPEN WEEKDAYS 7 A.M. TO 2 A.M. Closed Sundays tor the Winter PHONETHE 327-0240 LOTUS Acrose From The CPR Depot ;