Utilizing vaccines to reduce antimicrobial use

Utilizing vaccines to reduce antimicrobial use

By controlling certain viral diseases with vaccination, producers can reduce on-farm antimicrobial usage.

Nesting in enriched cages

Nesting in enriched cages

While multiple studies have uncovered some of what affects nesting and pre-nesting behaviour, much remains to be learned.

Maximizing broiler performance

Maximizing broiler performance

Reaching genetic potential through best management practices.

I’ve written before about a growing frustration within the industry. Increasingly, global food companies are coming out with their own welfare programs for poultry and egg sectors. Many of them include their own unique commitments suppliers must adhere to. Adding to this frustration, some of these pledges appear to be driven not by evidence but by pressure activists put on brands.
Early mortality in a flock can have several causes or contributing factors. One of the most common reasons is a bacterial infection of the navel (omphalitis) or yolk sac. In this article, I discuss omphalitis and other factors that can impact early mortality rates and overall chick quality.
It’s one of the most significant immunosuppressive diseases in the Canadian chicken industry. Infectious bursal disease (IBD), also known as Gumboro disease, is caused by a very highly contagious and immunosuppressive virus (family Birnaviridae) in chickens.
The first time American egg farmer John Brunnquell walked into a cage-free barn everything he thought he knew about hen welfare was called into question. It was the early 1990s, and Brunnquell could recite the benefits of caged production by heart: Birds don’t walk around in their own manure, cages protect them from predators and they can be quickly fed if they get sick, he said.
Coccidiosis refers to a parasitic infection of the gut that causes clinical signs of disease. The parasites referred to are coccidial species (Eimeria). Some key clinical signs  include reduced feed consumption, increased water consumption, ruffled feathers, watery feces, dehydration, reduced weight gain, increased feed conversion, bloody dropping and mortality.
Global poultry production has entered an era of increased oversight of antibiotic use during live production. Being able to treat sick animals with antibiotics is important. As an industry, we must continue to do our part to maintain antibiotic effectiveness so they can be used as tools for sick animals. As with any change, there will be a learning curve moving forward.
A valid veterinarian-client-patient-relationship (VCPR) is simply the term given to describe the relationship the poultry farmer and the attending veterinarian share.
When it comes to animal welfare, Alexandra Harlander prefers to get her information straight from the horse’s mouth. Or, in this case, directly from the poultry she’s studying.
Ontario's Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Ernie Hardeman, recently launched a public awareness campaign to highlight mental health challenges suffered by farmers and encourage people to ask for help when daily struggles become too much to bear.
DATE: December 21LOCATION: CanadaDETAILS: As of December 21st, 22 confirmed cases of Salmonella have appeared in Canada. This prompted the Public Health Agency of Canada to collaborate with provincial public health partners, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Health Canada to investigate the outbreak. The investigation found exposure to raw chicken and turkey products to be the likely source of the outbreak. That's because many individuals who got sick noted eating different types of chicken and turkey before their illness occurred. Almost half of the illnesses, which are genetically related to illnesses that date back to 2017, happened between October and November of 2018.SOURCE: Canada.ca
What is the recommended dose of fenbendazole for an individual animal, based on its weight? How much fenbendazole will it take to treat a specific number of animals? Which Safe-Guard or Panacur formulation is the most appropriate and cost effective option in a particular instance?The answers to these and other questions are just a few clicks away with Merck Animal Health’s new Safe-Guard mobile application.This one-of-a-kind tool makes it easy for veterinarians and producers to quickly calculate the volume and amount of fenbendazole required based on the number of animals to be treated, the animal’s weight, and the selected formulation of Safe-Guard, Panacur or Panacur Aquasol.The Safe-Guard mobile application also includes an optional cost comparison feature to help users select the most cost-effective formulation and presentation of fenbendazole to meet their specific needs.Other features include in-app access to product labels for all formulations of Safe-Guard, Panacur and Panacur Aquasol, as well as selected studies and a resource section containing helpful information and articles.“Merck Animal Health has always been committed to providing veterinarians and producers with value-added products and services that promote the well-being of animals and help increase productivity and efficiency,” said Douglas Wong, product manager, farm animal business unit, in a press release.“Our goal in developing the Safe-Guard mobile application was to create an easy-to-use, practical calculator and resource tool that helps save time and money by taking the guesswork out of fenbendazole administration.”The Safe-Guard mobile application can be used to calculate fenbendazole dosages, quantities and costs for four different species: cattle, swine, horses and poultry.The Safe-Guard mobile application for both iOS and Android is now available for download on the Apple Store and Google Play.
Depending on where you are in the world, consumer preferences will dictate desired egg colour and egg size; however, good quality eggs should always be free from internal blemishes such as blood spots, pigment spots, and meat spots. Researchers examine dozens of traits that are linked to egg quality.
Al Dam, poultry specialist at the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, says that in 2018, he had more inquiries about darkling beetle infestations than he’s had in a long time.
Cockroaches, ants, birds, ground beetles and rodents are exactly the kinds of visitors you do not want to stop by unannounced. Poultry facilities often have an abundant supply of food, water and shelter – the three resources pests need to survive. And any tiny cracks, gaps around utilities or tears in window screens could let pests in to your workplace.
It’s an approach that’s time-honoured and still holds significant value in pest control: a multi-pronged strategy is a very effective way to manage serious pests like mites, flies and more in the barn. Are there new products and strategies, however, to add to the tool kit, and what threats are of most concern right now in Canada? We contacted several experts to get their views.
When Andre van Kammen of Cedar Acres Farm in Chilliwack, B.C., decided to build a new barn for his newly-acquired chicken quota (from his in-laws), he thought outside the box – or, in his case, outside the tunnel.
While precision farming technology has taken the crop production world by storm, it’s been slow to enter the livestock sector, especially poultry production. But in recent years, innovative companies and researchers around the world are finding new ways to measure, calculate and analyze data using sensor technology.
When you consider food safety, it’s easy to think of the kitchen – storing poultry properly, preparing it wisely and cooking it thoroughly. But the journey to safe food on our plates starts well before then. It actually begins on the farm. Canadian Poultry asked a few industry experts about how farm management practices contribute to food safety.
Founded in 2008, Greengage is a lighting company that designs LED lamps, power hubs and sensors for agricultural production.
A Waterloo, Ont.-based company is using a combination of physics, chemistry and artificial intelligence to gain a better understanding of poultry meat and help boost food safety in processing facilities.
It may seem ironic, but even poultry facilities need a bird control plan. With bountiful food (including bird feed) on the property, pest birds like pigeons, starlings and sparrows can easily become an issue if proper control methods are not taken.
Northern Ireland produces an estimated 260,000 tonnes of poultry litter each year. This leads to the problem of how to dispose of it in an environmentally friendly way. Until now poultry farmers have relied on arable farmers to take the lion’s share of the litter. But a new solution is now in operation.
“Everything old is new again.” That phrase by American author Stephen King captures the sentiment behind Aviagen’s reviving of a decommissioned hatchery in Albertville, a rural community in northeast Alabama, U.S. Aviagen has transformed the historic hatchery into the new Research and Training Center. In a ceremony on May 22, Aviagen CEO Jan Henriksen hosted the grand opening of the newly refurbished center.“Aviagen is committed to investing in research and development to bring ongoing bird performance improvement to our customers and to the industry as a whole,” said Henriksen. “The Albertville Research and Training Center plays an important role in our overall mission to provide quality broiler breeding stock to our customers that ultimately help provide local communities with a healthy, affordable source of protein.”Aviagen has instilled the new center with state-of-the-art technology and a rustic modern look, while preserving much of the original natural materials and charm. The newly restored building will offer multiple spaces where Aviagen teams can meet and learn with their valued customers and industry colleagues.The new Research and Training Center is part of a larger campus known as the Aviagen Product Development Center, which also includes a research hatchery, processing plant and breeder and broiler farm. The complete operation is integral to Aviagen’s global research and development efforts.Fusion of historic and cutting edgeWhile endowing the new space with leading-edge technology Aviagen went to great lengths to preserve its history. Much of the original building’s wood ceiling was reclaimed and repurposed to create a custom conference table, accent walls and a floating ceiling. The Aviagen core values are displayed on a wall of reclaimed brick from the original building, illustrating that the corporate principles form the foundation of all decisions and actions of Aviagen staff.Ample meeting, research and training spaceThe Derek Emmerson Education Center will serve as the training hub. This 1,350-square-foot classroom will be home to the Aviagen Production Management School – a four week, international customer learning experience – as well as many other education events. The center was named after the former Vice President of Research and Development, who supervised the U.S. broiler breeding program.Carrying the name of a former Aviagen Head of Research and Development and Deputy CEO who worked for the company for almost 40 years, the Nigel Barton Executive Conference Room will see much collaboration and idea sharing. This space will host internal collaborations, as well as meetings with customers, industry colleagues and academia.And, from a state-of-the-art Farm Operations Center, staff and visitors may observe and monitor flock behavior and house conditions via streaming video of each of the poultry houses on the campus. The new space also includes a necropsy training room, which will lead to improved approaches to disease diagnosis and prevention.“Out of our extensive R&D comes a wealth of knowledge on breeding advancements and best practices for improving performance and efficiencies for our customers,” said Eduardo Souza, vice president of Research and Development. “The new center provides a modern, inviting space to further our R&D and share these latest developments.”
Signify, a large global lighting company, has acquired Once Inc., based in Plymouth, Minn., and iLox, based in Vechta, Germany. Once and iLox are market leaders in the design and manufacturing of animal-centric lighting.“With this acquisition, we add know-how, technology and expertise in animal lighting that complements ours in horticulture lighting. We are very pleased to partner with the teams of Once and iLox to combine our innovations to capture growth,” said Bill Bien, Business Leader Agriculture at Signify, in a press release. “This next step in the development of our Agriculture Business addresses the global need for feeding the world's growing population, further unlocking the potential of light for brighter lives and a better world.”“We are excited to become part of Signify. The potential market is young and growing and we look forward to working together to further improve animal welfare and farmers' production,” added Zdenko Grajcar, CEO and founder of Once.Once Inc. was founded in 2009 and signed an agreement to acquire Germany-based iLox in 2018, adding sales and service capabilities outside the U.S.The transactions are expected to close in the second quarter of 2019. No financial details about the transactions were disclosed.
U.K. broiler farmer David Speller is the proud owner of a ‘smart’ barn that takes technology to the next level.
Aging facilities and business consolidation are being cited by Federated Co-operative Limited as reasons for its decision to close three of its six livestock feed production plants on the Prairies.FCL says its Co-op Feeds operations in Melfort, Sask., and Brandon, Man., will shut down in August and October respectively, while production at a facility in Edmonton will be moved south to Wetaskiwin.Manufacturing will continue at plants in Calgary , Saskatoon and Moosomin, Sask.The plants produce cattle, horse, sheep and poultry feed in bags and bulk orders.Ten jobs will be lost through the Brandon and Melfort closures, but FCL associate vice-president Patrick Bergermann hopes the employees can find work in the company's retailing system.He says the company will do its best to ensure that livestock producers affected by the closures will continue to get the products they need from the three remaining plants.Bergermann said there has been consolidation on both the producer side and manufacturing side of the feed business. He also said the plants slated for closure have ''a lot of age.''''They were going to require a lot of capital investment ... we needed to look at what was going to be sustainable.''Bergermann also said the shutdown of the Melfort facility is not an indictment of the quality of work done by its employees.''We've got a lot of great people there that have been doing a good job in serving local producers for a long time,'' he said.
Country Junction Feeds based in Western Canada has announced a major expansion of its operations with the agreement to acquire the Federated Co-operatives Ltd. (FCL) feed mill in Edmonton.The leading feed company, headquartered in Wetaskiwin, Alberta, serves a broadening customer base across Alberta, Canada and into the U.S., specializing in quality bulk and bagged feeds for beef, dairy, equine, poultry, swine, goat, lamb, certified organic feeds and more.The agreement to acquire the FCL Edmonton feed mill Sept. 30, 2019, adds significant feed mill capacity directed at serving northern Alberta and beyond with diversified Country Junction Feeds feed products and services including industry leading animal nutrition expertise.“We are very pleased with the agreement to acquire the Edmonton feed mill,” says Darrel Kimmel, Manager of Country Junction Feeds. “The additional capacity and resources will enhance our overall product and service offerings while aligning with our strategic vision for Country Junction Feeds moving forward. It’s an important time of evolution and opportunity in the feed industry and for the broadening customer base we serve. “Our growing Country Junction Feeds team is looking forward to playing a strong role in helping our customers succeed in this new environment.”Country Junction Feeds management and key staff, including leading animal nutritionists Bernie Grumpelt, Nancy Fischer and Jamie McAllister, will have central roles in supporting the expansion and directing the activity of the added feed mill. Overall capacity from both current and added facilities will allow Country Junction Feeds to deliver a wide range of feed and solutions to fit all major livestock and equine species and production approaches, including tailored solutions for different stages of life and both conventional and niche market opportunities.“We take pride in being proactive in offering the latest advantages in feed and nutrition solutions, technology and strategies,” says Kimmel. “This will continue under the new expansion. This is another important step in our continued growth that will benefit all current and new Country Junction Feeds customers.”
On September 1, 2019, Anton de Weerd will step down as Marel Poultry’s executive vice president (EVP).
Tina Widowski has had a long and distinguished career studying farm animal welfare.
During the prestigious Alizés Evening, dedicated to the celebration of excellence in agri-food exports, the two winners who have distinguished themselves by their performance on international markets were unveiled. Jefo Nutrition Inc., a global leader in high performance non-medicated nutritional solutions for animals, were winners of the grand prize, the Alizé of the Year, while the Jury's Choice Alizé was awarded to Wendell Estate Honey Inc., a family-owned beekeeping company. The Alizés Evening, held in conjunction with SIAL Canada 2019 at the Beanfield Center in Toronto on April 30, 2019, brought together more than 385 individuals from the agri-food sector.Jefo was recognized for its dynamic nature and innovative growth strategies based on long-term trust relationships with its partners. The company markets its products in more than 50 countries through 10 subsidiaries around the world. "The countless initiatives put in place by Jefo Nutrition Inc. to consolidate its international commercial actions, combined with investments to ensure the development and sharing of its knowledge base, deserved to be recognized and applauded," said André A. Coutu, president and CEO of the Export Group, in a press release.A family business, Jefo was created in 1982 and founded by Jean Fontaine, an agronomist by training. Located in Saint-Hyacinthe, Que., the company's mission is to improve animal health and increase human longevity by providing better sources of protein for the population.
Transport Genie Ltd., a Canadian-based developer of real-time, sensor-based monitoring systems for livestock transportation equipment, today announced the appointment of Idris Soule as the company’s Chief Technology Officer.Soule is a leading software engineer with broad industry experience leading a variety of machine learning and GPS technology initiatives with Fortune 500 companies, including Blackberry and Google. Since 2017, he has been senior developer at Transport Genie, leading the effort to create a real-time monitoring system that protects the health and welfare of livestock during transport.“Idris has played a vital role in guiding development of the Transport Genie sensor system from the outset, and we’re thrilled that he’s agreed to take on the challenge of advancing our technical mission as we take our products to the marketplace,” said Joel Sotomayor, Transport Genie President and CEO.Using a network of smart sensors, Transport Genie monitors microclimate conditions inside livestock trailers and relays that information to truck drivers and other users along the supply chain. The sensors monitor variables such as temperature and humidity, as well as a wide range of other factors that affect the animals’ comfort and welfare, including driving conditions and behaviour such as braking and acceleration. The sensors can also be used to control devices such as cooling fans, misters and drinkers.“Transport is the time in a farmed animal’s life that it is most vulnerable to infectious disease or injury, so it’s very gratifying to be able to provide a reliable tool to ensure their comfort and safety,” said Soule. “While there are other devices that can record variables like temperature during the journey, only Transport Genie can relay accurate real-time data to the driver who can then take immediate action to resolve any issues before they become a serious problem.”Transport Genie sensors are fully customizable to meet the needs of different species of livestock and poultry as well as different types and sizes of transport trailers. The sensors can have up to a three-year battery life and are built to withstand the rigorous conditions of livestock transport, including the washing and disinfecting procedures required for biosecurity.Canada’s agriculture and agri-food system accounts for nearly seven per cent of GDP and contributes over $111 billion a year to the national economy — and the industry is ripe for technological innovation, Soule said.“The ag-tech sector is still in its infancy and there a multitude of applications that have the potential to benefit all stakeholders. From Internet of Things (IoT) sensors to blockchain-based data-sharing ecosystems, ag-tech innovation will revolutionize the food system in ways that optimize, monitor, monetize, protect and alleviate stress all along the supply chain,” he said.“Transport Genie provides producers and transportation companies with the assurance that the animals in their care are being treated humanely, and consumers can take comfort in knowing that the people who provide the food that feeds their families are following the highest standards of animal health and welfare.”
Dubbed the “chicken whisperer,” University of Guelph animal biosciences professor emeritus Ian Duncan has been named the recipient of the 2019 Frederic A. McGrand Lifetime Achievement Award from Humane Canada.Humane Canada brings together SPCAs and humane societies from across the country.The award “acknowledges outstanding contributions to animal welfare in Canada,” said Barbara Cartwright, CEO of Humane Canada, based in Nepean, Ont.“We are pleased to announce Dr. Duncan as the winner of this prestigious recognition for his long-time commitment to finding solutions to improve farm animal welfare.”A member of the former Department of Animal and Poultry Science for 21 years, Duncan was among the first researchers to develop a scientific approach to solving animal welfare problems. His work based on “asking” animals what matters to them has led to the development of similar techniques for other species.Considered a top expert in farm animal welfare, especially poultry welfare, he has worked with organizations worldwide to develop animal welfare certification programs.“Receiving this award is both a personal and professional achievement,” said Duncan, former director of the Colonel K.L. Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare at U of G. “My research on the suffering experienced by egg-laying hens in battery cages helped to push for more humane husbandry systems.”He will receive the award this weekend during Humane Canada’s sixth annual National Animal Welfare Conference in Montreal.In 2017, Duncan received the organization’s Leadership in Farm Animal Welfare Award for his work on the National Farm Animal Care Council’s code committee for layer hens.
At November’s EuroTier trade fair in Hanover, German, Big Dutchman CEO Bernd Meerpohl spoke about the future of poultry houses. A Canadian Poultry correspondent interviewed him at the event about that topic, as well as about challenges and opportunities facing the industry and his thoughts on the perfect poultry barn.How do you see the poultry barn of the future?There’s no doubt that the entire world is going to look at more animal welfare questions and it will also look at more sustainability. These are words that are often overused, but there is no doubt that it will move towards that.This will, of course, also mean we need to look more at sensor technology to better understand where the problem points in the poultry barn are. That’s true for broilers as well as for layers.We need to better understand what’s happening in the barn so we can adapt better than we are already. I think we are already pretty good, but there’s still a ways to go.How about in terms of sustainability?Yes, what I also see in the poultry barn of the future is that we will need to look at sustainability and economic points, as we have to feed maybe nine to 10 billion people in the future. We can’t gain on the one hand through animal welfare and environmental improvements, and lose on effectiveness. And that’s exactly why I believe we will need more measuring and more sensors.Are there specific technologies that you think will be disruptors?I think there are a few robotic solutions that could certainly be game changers. One thing that is already here today – not in the finally stages, but in the beginnings – is the in-egg chicken sexing. I think that is a game changer if we can use it. It’s being done, but the question is, it good enough yet? None of them are yet where they should be, but I tip my hat at what they are doing, for sure.Which regulations present a challenge for poultry producers?What I’m a bit afraid of, to be honest, is that very small minorities are influencing politics, particularly in building permits. We have already seen this in Germany. It is already close to a point where we can’t do anything anymore. On the one hand, people are saying we need more animal welfare. And if I say, ‘Okay, I need a hole in the wall to let the chickens out,’ then I need completely new permits. That’s really a difficult subject.What does the perfect poultry barn look like?It would not be a free-range barn – for the purposes of influenza and so on. It would be an in-house barn, and it would be an aviary system – a real aviary system. It would be, depending on the location, solar powered. It would be pretty transparent with a lot of glass, and it would try to turn manure into electricity as well, so essentially a closed system regarding electricity and waste control. That’s what I would dream of.
JRS VirtualStudio Inc., a leading developer of web-based applications and data solutions with a focus on the global agriculture sector, is pleased to announce the appointment of Mark Beaven as vice-president, sales and marketing.Beaven brings nearly three decades of senior management experience leading a variety of initiatives in Ontario’s agri-food sector, including over 10 years as executive director of the Canadian Animal Health Coalition (CAHC). In his new position, he will oversee business development and engagement activities for all of JRS VirtualStudio’s agri-tech enterprises, including Transport Genie and Trespass Tracker.“I’ve known Mark for a long time and over the years we’ve developed a great working relationship. We’re very pleased to welcome him to the team,” said Joel Sotomayor, founder and Principal of JRS VirtualStudio. “We have a very talented group of programmers and developers working on a lot of exciting projects, and Mark brings the real-world business savvy and connections that we need to commercialize those ideas and grow the business.”Beaven, who grew up in the rural community of Mitchell, Ont., said the JRS VirtualStudio team is poised to have a major impact on the agricultural sector through an innovative suite of products being developed by its affiliated companies, including: Transport Genie: a sensor-based, real-time tracking system that monitors microclimate conditions inside livestock transportation trailers to ensure that animals arrive at their destination healthy and safe. Mpowered: a novel blockchain-based ecosystem designed to help people take control of and monetize their data on a cryptographically secure, transparent and tamper-proof platform. Farm Health Monitor: a smartphone app for regional syndromic reporting that gives producers and veterinarians real-time surveillance, reporting and mapping of livestock and poultry disease outbreaks. Trespass Tracker: the world’s first smart security system that puts real-time communications and smart technology at farmers’ fingertips. Trespass Tracker uses geofencing technology and machine vision intelligence to distinguish between legitimate visitors and intruders. “The JRS VirtualStudio team is extremely bright and forward thinking with a continual stream of innovations that are going to impact the industry,” said Beaven. “My role will be advance these initiatives and look for new opportunities, and to act as the interface between these very smart people and forward-thinking producers and agricultural organizations across Canada and around the world.”
Two Canadian research teams, one from the University of Guelph (U of G) and the other from the Universtiy of Montreal (U of M) conducted studies to evaluate the value of recommended biosecurity measures and sanitation procedures in the poultry industry.
Most of us are probably guilty of eating some raw cookie dough or licking the spoon when making a cake without much thought about the food safety implications.
Canadian companies plan to serve up chicken, beef burgers and mouse-meat cat treats in the coming years, all without the need to slaughter a single animal.Entrepreneurs see an opportunity where there's been a dearth of lab-grown meat startups that proliferated in the U.S.Cellular agriculture takes cells from animals and grows them to create milk, eggs, meat or other products. Proponents argue the method is kinder to animals and the environment.''There was an opportunity here in Canada, just because the field is still so undefined, to really create a presence here and to try to drive it forward,'' said Lejjy Gafour, co-founder of Edmonton-based Future Fields.Gafour started the company in 2017 with his friend of more than a dozen years, Matt Anderson-Baron, who holds a PhD in cell biology.They're working on creating two products: a serum that feeds the cells to help them grow, and chicken meat.Gafour estimates – conservatively – that the chicken is five to seven years away from being ready for public consumption, while the serum will be finished sooner.Future Fields wants to stock Canadian grocery shelves first, unlike many companies that eye the U.S. market for their debut. Gafour adds the caveat that the plan depends on how regulations unfold in both countries, as well as the company's relationships with American partners and other companies.Appleton Meats in Vancouver wants to create a beef burger without cows.Sid Deen started the company at the end of 2017 and it's conducting a lot of primary research that will lead to product development.''We are looking at the cell types, the ability to grow them, to expand them and to get viable meat out of it,'' said Deen, who serves as CEO.Appleton is testing different prototypes and anticipates its product will be selling within three to five years – though, depending on how the research pans out, it could be something other than a burger.He would like to see the product sold domestically, but isn't opposed to stocking U.S. stores.''I think it would be nice to have a Canadian company do this in Canada and provide it to a domestic market,'' he said.Companies aren't just focusing feeding humans.Two Torontonians started Because Animals, which is working to develop pet food using cellular agriculture, in 2016. Though it's based in Delaware, the company conducts a lot of its research in Canada, CEO Shannon Falconer said.Because Animals recently announced its first prototype for a cat treat made of field mouse meat produced using cellular agriculture.''Now we have to work on scale,'' said Falconer, as well as going through regulatory challenges in order to start selling the product, which makes it difficult to predict when it will appear on store shelves.Because Animals will debut a cultured protein dog treat, that uses nutritional yeast rather than animal cells, this May and a cultured protein dog kibble in the fourth quarter.Those products will likely launch in the U.S. first, Falconer said. That and the company's decision to headquarter in the U.S. is partly due to the country being the largest pet food market, she said, though the company is working toward selling its pet food in Canada too.It can be more difficult to find investors as a Canadian company, said Gafour, as venture capitalist money tends to be concentrated in America. There also seem to be more investors with a lot of experience in the bio-technology industry in the U.S., he said.Deen thinks people tend to underestimate the value of Canadian entrepreneurship and many companies turn to the U.S. because they believe there's more infrastructure there.Both Future Fields and Appleton are privately funded, with Future Fields looking for institutional and partner investors, and Appleton planning to start a funding round in a year or so.While Canada may not be as flashy as its southern neighbour, said Deen, the country does provide a lot of support.And, at least for Gafour, the lack of population density and other companies doing similar work in the country isn't necessarily a bad thing.''Absence of things is both an opportunity and a risk,'' he said, adding it may be easier to acclimatize a smaller population to the notion of eating lab-grown meat.''We definitely have the talent here to be able to create an industry such as this and to also own it.''
While some cereals may be the breakfast of champions, a UBC professor suggests people with Type 2 diabetes (T2D) should be reaching for something else.Associate Professor Jonathan Little, who teaches in UBC Okanagan’s School of Health and Exercise Sciences, published a study this week demonstrating that a high-fat, low-carb breakfast can help those with T2D control blood sugar levels throughout the day.“The large blood sugar spike that follows breakfast is due to the combination of pronounced insulin resistance in the morning in people with T2D and because typical Western breakfast foods—cereal, oatmeal, toast and fruit—are high in carbohydrates,” says Little.Breakfast, he says, is consistently the 'problem' meal that leads to the largest blood sugar spikes for people with T2D. His research shows that eating a low-carb and high-fat meal first thing in the morning is a simple way to prevent this large spike, improve glycemic control throughout the day, and perhaps also reduce other diabetes complications.Study participants with well-controlled T2D completed two experimental feeding days. On one day they ate an omelette for breakfast, and on another day, they ate oatmeal and some fruit. An identical lunch and dinner were provided on both days. A continuous glucose monitor—a small device that attaches to your abdomen and measures glucose every five minutes—was used to measure blood sugar spikes across the entire day. Participants also reported ratings of hunger, fullness and a desire to eat something sweet or savoury.Little’s study determined that consuming a very low-carbohydrate high-fat breakfast completely prevented the blood sugar spike after breakfast and this had enough of an effect to lower overall glucose exposure and improve the stability of glucose readings for the next 24 hours.“We expected that limiting carbohydrates to less than 10 per cent at breakfast would help prevent the spike after this meal,” he says. “But we were a bit surprised that this had enough of an effect and that the overall glucose control and stability were improved. We know that large swings in blood sugar are damaging to our blood vessels, eyes and kidneys. The inclusion of a very low-carb high-fat breakfast meal in T2D patients may be a practical and easy way to target the large morning glucose spike and reduce associated complications.”He does note that there was no difference in blood sugar levels in both groups later in the day, suggesting that the effect for reducing overall post-meal glucose spikes can be attributed to the breakfast responses -- with no evidence that a low-carb breakfast worsened glucose responses to lunch or dinner.“The results of our study suggest potential benefits of altering macronutrient distribution throughout the day so that carbohydrates are restricted at breakfast with a balanced lunch and dinner rather than consuming an even distribution and moderate amount of carbohydrates throughout the day.”As another interesting aspect of the research, participants noted that pre-meal hunger and their cravings for sweet foods later in the day tended to be lower if they ate the low-carb breakfast. Little suggests this change in diet might be a healthy step for anybody, even those who are not living with diabetes.Little’s study was published this week in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The research is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar Award.
Currently, European Commission (EC) directives on the protection of chickens kept for meat and egg production allow beak trimming. However, some countries, like Austria, The Netherlands, Germany and most of Scandinavia, have banned the controversial practice outright. Others, like the United Kingdom, are working towards a ban, but not without debate. Across the continent, opinions and perspectives vary.
A new study provides further understanding into the tides of public opinion around Canadian food, how it's grown, and the relationship consumers want with farmers and those that process their food.Public Opinion: a study of Canadian conversations online about food and farming led by the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity (CCFI), uncovered how food, farming and a handful of hot button issues capture national interest in millions of natural conversations online. The issues Canadians are most engaged with include climate change and the links to food production, organic foods, and discussions on genetically modified organisms (GMOs)."This groundbreaking work captured and quantified actual discussion and real sentiment of over 254,900 Canadians talking about food and how it's grown," stated Crystal Mackay, CCFI President. "This kind of research is integral to truly addressing consumer demands and questions in an open and authentic manner."Key conversations Canadians were discussing online over the two-year period included: 8 million people were discussing cannabis 2.5 million climate change as it relates to food production 2.1 million genetically modified foods (GMOs) 2 million organic food and farming Surprisingly, for the most part, millennials and baby boomers were found to be similarly aligned in their views on food issues based on their online conversations. This is not the case in CCFI's more traditional quantitative research. The study also identified opportunities for players in the Canadian food system to join the millions of conversations online around key topics such as cost of food and climate change.The topics covered farm practices and food production in general, and specifically GMOs, hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides. As found in previous CCFI research, Canadians most commonly associated farmers with all the key topics studied; more so than any other food system stakeholders.The Canadian Centre for Food Integrity (CCFI) study measured the discussions related to food and farming of 254,900 Canadians for 24 months on social media, from January 2017 to January 2019. The study assessed many social platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit using a proprietary artificial intelligence tool to analyze public social media, with no personalized data attached to the findings.View the more detailed report findings on this study and other CCFI studies related to Canadians' opinions on food and farming in French or English at www.foodintegrity.ca.
Water quality has never been more important.  The elixir of life, as water is known, gives farmers an early warning system for disease, and a delivery mechanism for medication and vaccines. Water is of such importance in any life that John F. Kennedy once said, “Anyone who can solve the water problems is worthy of two Nobel prizes- one for peace and one for science.”
The PeckStone has been sold in many countries around the world since 2013.
A group of Toronto scientists will soon attempt to develop a less-expensive way to grow lab-made meat after securing a grant from an American non-profit aiming to boost advances in cultured protein.Cellular agriculture has been touted as the future of food thanks to its smaller environmental footprint and consideration for animal welfare, but until recently much of the research has been done south of the border.Cultured food uses cell cultures to grow animal products like beef, eggs or milk in a laboratory without the need for livestock. Some companies have already made these kinds of products, but it's an expensive undertaking and no such items are readily available on store shelves yet.''This is our, my first foray into this kind of research,'' said Peter Stogios, a senior research associate at the University of Toronto and lead researcher on the winning project.He's trying to overcome what he sees as one of the biggest hurdles for the whole industry of cultured meat – an expensive component to what he likens to a broth needed to grow meat in a lab.The broth is composed of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and growth factors that are essential to sustain tissue culture. Those growth factors are very expensive, he said.''Can we create those protein molecules, those growth factors better, cheaper and actually make them more potent?'' he said.The four-person team will cast a wide net to look at growth factors from other species, like birds and fish, and attempt to mix those with cow cells. They hope to start the initial phase immediately and wrap it up within six months.If they discover an exotic growth factor or multiple that works really well, he said, the team will enter into an engineering phase where it will try to make them more potent. The second phase could take a year and a half.The Good Food Institute in Washington, D.C., awarded the team US$250,000 over two years to pursue the project in an announcement made earlier this month. It's one of 14 projects to receive the inaugural grant for plant-based and cell-based meat research and development, and the only cell-based project winner from Canada.The GFI was particularly excited with Stogios's proposal because it addresses the industry's cost issue and isn't just looking at lab-grown beef, but also possibilities for other proteins, like chicken, said Erin Rees Clayton, the scientific foundations liaison.Whatever advances Stogios and his team make will be published and widely available, hopefully eliminating repetitive research and development at cell-based meat companies, she said.''If Peter is able to create these, they'll be relevant to many different companies and they won't have to spend the time and resources to create those growth factors,'' she said.Neither she nor Stogios are aware of any other academic research in a similar vein, though it's possible a company in the industry is privately conducting similar research.Stogios said the current research is in the early stages, but depending on what he discovers, the third stage would be to enter into industrial agreements with companies to scale up.''I think it would be amazing,'' he said.Stogios, who admits he's new to the lab-grown meat field, isn't aware of much other research in the area being conducted in Canada.''We face this in everything in innovation in Canada,'' he said. ''Nobody has the answer to it.''He speculates there's a lack of venture capital funding to launch and then grow startups in Canada.New Harvest, a non-profit U.S. research organization that funds cellular agriculture research, was established in 2004 and was once headquartered in Toronto.''The relative lack of interest from consumers and researchers (and ultimately, donors) in Canada is one of the reasons why New Harvest moved its office from Toronto to New York City in 2015,'' said the organization's then communications director Erin Kim in an email in 2017.At the time, she said Canada was ''lagging well behind the U.S.,'' but considered it understandable due to the massive difference in the countries' population sizes. New Harvest declined to comment prior to publication on whether the situation has changed since.Some Canadian startups in this space have emerged. Vancouver-based Appleton Meats is working ''to engineer the perfect beef patty,'' according to its website, while Edmonton-based Future Fields is also working on cellular agriculture products.Rees Clayton said the innovation is no longer confined to the U.S. She's starting to see much more global interest in cellular agriculture.''Certainly we're seeing interest from Canadian researchers and entrepreneurs on both the plant-based side and cell-based meat side.''
If you relied on Canadian media and politicians alone, you might think topics like the economy and health care were what Canadians cared about most. You would be wrong. Canadians’ top priority is much more fundamental than that – before they can worry about hospital wait times or the cost to heat their homes this winter, they first and foremost need healthy, affordable food to eat and feed their families.
As the Canadian poultry industry continually improves bird welfare, it’s incorporating new research and technologies into transport and handling.
More than half the food produced in Canada is wasted and the average kitchen tosses out hundreds of dollars worth of edibles every year, says a study researchers are calling the first of its kind.
Global Affairs Canada has launched public consultations on how it allocates and administers tariff rate quotas for a number of supply-managed poultry and dairy products.The government is looking to hear from both individuals and organizations via an online questionnaire found on its website.A tariff rate quota (TRQ) is an import mechanism that allows a certain amount of a specific product to be imported at a low or zero duty rate, while anything above that is generally charged a much higher rate.The survey allows Canadians to choose from two dozen products to comment on, including chicken, eggs, cheese and butter.It asks questions about what the preferred method of allocation would be for TRQs, whether new entrants should face different eligibility criteria, and whether there should be a cap on how much of the quota one allocation holder can receive.Survey takers can weigh in on whether a portion of the allocation should be reserved for specific demographics or other categories, like women-owned businesses; whether transfers should be allowed; and what, if any, restrictions should be considered for auctions.
Turkey Farmers of Canada, the Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors Council and Turkey Primary Processing Sector Members have together launched the first national, bilingual campaign to boost turkey consumption since 2004.
Chicken, turkey and egg producers say a big hit is coming and the federal government needs to help them adapt.They’re facing increased imports allowed under a series of trade deals negotiated by the federal government and say a big-picture approach is needed.That was the message Chicken Farmers of Canada (CFC), Turkey Farmers of Can­ada (TFC), Egg Farmers of Canada (EFC) and Canadian Hatching Egg Producers (CHEP) had for the Senate agriculture committee inquiry into the impact of the new NAFTA and Pacific trade deals.For the full story, click here.
Canadians care that the eggs they choose are humanely raised, top quality, safe and produced in Canada. Very soon, a single Egg Quality Assurance (EQA) symbol on the carton, menu or package will give consumers the information they need to enjoy Canadian eggs with added confidence.
The Trudeau government is promising billions of dollars to compensate dairy, egg and poultry farmers hurt by Canada's recent free-trade agreements – industries concentrated in vote-rich Quebec and Ontario.The $3.65 billion the government is setting aside includes $2.15 billion to help farmers who lose income because of trade deals with Europe and countries on the Pacific Rim, both of which make it easier for foreign egg, dairy and poultry producers to enter the Canadian market.That is in addition to a $250-million, five-year fund established in 2016 to compensate dairy farmers for the European Union deal.The budget earmarks $1.5 billion for farmers who lose money when they sell their production rights in the supply-management system, which limits egg, poultry and dairy production in Canada. To gain the right to sell supply-managed products, farmers have to buy ''quota,'' often from existing producers who want to leave the industry.The system also limits foreign products by slapping steep tariffs on imports beyond a certain level, which raises their price at the grocery store and makes them less attractive to consumers. Allowing more foreign-produced food into the Canadian market will increase competition for products from Canadian farmers.''To ensure that Canada's dairy, poultry and egg farmers can continue to provide Canadians with high-quality products in a world of freer trade, we will make available an income protection program for supply-managed farmers, along with a measure to protect the value of quota investments these farmers have already made,'' Finance Minister Bill Morneau said in his prepared budget speech.The budget does not provide details on how or when the money will be distributed to farmers and producers, who have long railed against any move that would expand foreign involvement in those sectors.But the government appears to be hoping the promise of compensation will provide a salve to supply-managed farmers, many of whom are clumped in key ridings in Quebec and Ontario and angry that the deals have weakened their grip on the market.That could prove important for the Liberals, who will likely need a strong showing in the two provinces in this year's federal election to have a hope of retaining power.The budget also indicates more money could be forthcoming as the government works with industry ''to address the impacts on processing, as well as potential future impacts of the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement.''''The federal government recognizes the impact of trade agreements on our sector and is following through on its commitment to support our domestic dairy industry,'' said Pierre Lampron, president of the board of directors for the Dairy Farmers of Canada.''We also welcome the government's commitment to continue the dialogue on the future impact of CUSMA on our sector.''The North American deal, which will succeed NAFTA, has yet to be ratified and come into effect. That deal is the third free-trade agreement in which Canada agreed to open its supply-managed sectors, which emerged last year as a favourite target of U.S. President Donald Trump, particularly the dairy sector.Supply management has long been hotly debated in Canada.Proponents say the system keeps the market from getting saturated, which keeps prices stable and ensures steady incomes for farmers while protecting food safety, ensuring higher-quality products and eliminating the need for direct subsidies.Critics say it drives up the cost of dairy, eggs and chicken for consumers, which has a disproportionate impact on low-income families. The system has been a frequent target in – and barrier to – past free-trade negotiations.Successive federal governments for decades nonetheless resisted opening Canada to more tariff-free imports from other countries, in part because of the political implications.But when Stephen Harper was prime minister, the Conservatives opened the door to change when they agreed to ease restrictions on European cheese imports through the Canada-European Union trade deal, which was signed and came into force under the Trudeau Liberals.Ottawa then agreed, in the 11-country Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, to give participants more access to Canada's dairy, egg and poultry markets.
Meat consumption in North America is changing. Product developers and policy-makers need to understand the reasons for that change. 
It’s hard for some to believe that the meal kit sector is booming. It’s strange to think that people would buy a kit with all the ingredients for a meal (or have it delivered) and cook it when they could just buy the ingredients themselves for a substantially lower price.
Small poultry flocks are growing in popularity in Ontario. Many small flock owners have launched into raising their own meat and eggs without any previous farming skills or husbandry knowledge in how to best look after the birds in their care.
NSF International, a global public health and safety organization known for food safety and quality, launched new Global Animal Wellness Standards to address the full lifecycle of all key species and establish best practices for how animals are kept, raised and responsibly managed. The standards are the first of their kind in establishing a universal approach to animal health and wellness.
Happy New Year! As you’ll read in the pages ahead, we’re ringing in 2019 with an eye towards the future. This issue is focused on the research and innovations that will help shape the industry in the coming years.
Most Canadians celebrate innovation when it comes to their phones, cars and medical breakthroughs. Break out the party horns!
The federal government says it plans to spend $1.75 billion by March without having said what the money is for, though at least some of the cash is likely to go to farmers hurt by new trade deals.

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