What is Porcima?
Porcima is the official name of FPPQ's research corporation. The corporation, which has existed for the last 17 years, was previously identified only by a number. With increasingly important research activities underway, it was considered necessary to give the corporation a name, an image and an identity of its own.
Through Porcima, close to $500,000 is invested yearly in a variety of research projects on genetics, stock breeding, facility management, nutrition, animal health, manure processing, odour reduction, cleanliness, product quality and economic issues.
The research corporation - created by pork producers to ensure the progress of scientific and practical knowledge in all fields of pork production - was established in 1993.
The current portfolio of over 30 research projects represents some $10 million in investments.
The new name and visual identity underline pork producers engagement to invest in research and development. The process to find a meaningful name and logo began last autumn. This name was chosen above all other possibilities.
A new logo
The logo was also chosen among several possibilities. The balance between its symbol and letters gives it a great visual effect. Its modern look stands for research and development while its round symbol can be interpreted as a pork back. This logo can easily take part among FPPQ's other logos.
Projects fall under five subject areas:
- marketing and product quality
- production economics
- genetics and farm management
- environmental protection
- animal health and welfare
FPPQ involvement goes well beyond just funding
In addition to funding research projects, the FPPQ plays a leadership role in determining the directions in which to focus research, then communicates the research findings to producers.
R&D monitoring and planning
Developing strategic plans
The FPPQ keeps a strategic watch on research in pork production and plays a leadership role with its partners to spark new ways of thinking and to offer research directions that meet producers' needs and create solutions to their problems.
Over recent years it has helped develop the following strategic plans which are expected to receive significant scientific research contributions (documents available in French only):
- Plan d'action mycotoxines (Mycotoxins Action Plan) (2009)
- R&D sur les gaz et les odeurs en production porcine (R&D on Gases and Odours in Pork Production) (2008)
- (Animal Health Action Plan), Table filière porcine du Québec (2008)
- Stratégie de Science et d'Innovation de la Table Ronde sur la chaîne de valeur du porc (Sciene and Innovation Strategy from the Pork Industry Value Chain Roundtable) (2007)
- Priorités de R&D de la Table filière porcine québécoise et moyens à mettre en oeuvre (Table filière porcine du Québec R&D Priorities and Implementation Methods) (2006)
Representing the industry to ensure R&D funding programs are established
The FPPQ makes the necessary representations at the various levels of government and within the industry to mobilize the funds required to launch research programs. It gave its stamp of approval for the launch of two major initiatives to increase applied research in animal health and to foster the development of science clusters.
- Canadian Agri-Science Clusters initiative (program launched in 2009, extending to 2013)
- Canadian Swine Health Board research program (program launched in 2009, extending to 2013)
Strengthening areas of expertise with universities and research centres
The FPPQ provides financial or strategic support to research and development institutions in order to strengthen our areas of expertise. For example, it funds projects and supports the hiring of researchers and the creation of research programs in priority areas for pork producers.
The FPPQ has been involved in the following projects:
- Strategic support program at the Research and Development Institute for the Agri-Environment (IRDA) (research program on air treatment) (2006-2011)
- Chair of Analysis of Agricultural Policy and Collective Marketing at Université Laval (since 2003) http://www.fsaa.ulaval.ca/chaires-ful.html(in French only)
- Funding the capacity-building programs of the Centre de développement du porc du Québec (CDPQ) (since 2002)
- Chair of Meat Safety Research at Université de Montréal (since 1998)
Participation in boards of directors and scientific councils
The FPPQ participates actively in the boards of directors and scientific councils of various institutions to raise scientists' awareness of pork producers' needs and to focus work on finding solutions. Some of the many current collaborations include:
- CDPQ (since 1992); Board of Directors and Genetic Orientation Committee http://www.cdpqinc.qc.ca/
- Canadian Meat Science Association (since 2008); Member http://cmsa-ascv.ca/
- Swine Infectious Disease Research Centre (CRIP) (since 2007); Management Committee http://www.crip.umontreal.ca/fr/accueil.html
- Research and Development Institute for the Agri-Environment (IRDA) (since 2006); Board of Directors and Monitoring Group http://www.irda.qc.ca/
Open grant competition and merit scholarships
The FPPQ also addresses the scientific community every year with its annual open grant competition. It sends invitations to all applicable institutions and consulting groups. The competition awards funding of up to 40% of the research amount. The FPPQ also seeks to spark interest in pork production research among the next generation by awarding merit scholarships of up to $25,000 for graduate studies.
Managing a portfolio of research projects
The FPPQ forms and manages its portfolio of research projects based on the annual open competition addressed to the scientific community. The FPPQ can also place targeted calls for proposals to certain researchers in response to very specific problems, at any time throughout the year.
This project portfolio is subject to a series of performance indicators to ensure the funds invested are being used effectively.
Additionally, the FPPQ has formed a research corporation in order to collect the subscription fees from research projects it funds and reinvest these monies in future projects. It scans for available grants and invites private partners to finance projects.
The project portfolio is diversified and varies from year to year depending on the priorities the producers set for the resolution of certain issues. For example, projects can focus on developing or comparing technologies or controlling sanitary and environmental risks, or they can extend to examining promising fields of investigation or opening up new markets.
Transfer and innovation
Depending on the results of the research, various procedures are used to ensure quick transfer of this new knowledge to producers and their effectively incorporating it into their practices.
Some of these procedures include:
- Distribution through the various Services of the FPPQ (Quality Assurance, Environment, Economy)
- Production of guides and tools for professionals and farmers
- General distribution of the information (outreach article, Web site, presentations)
- Commercial agreements or licences signed with private companies (restrictions regarding the use of the FPPQ name for promotional purposes)