RWA in the U.K.

RWA in the U.K.

How a gut health program is helping producers.

What’s new with turkey?

What’s new with turkey?

An update on exciting new products and why year-round product sales are growing.

Promoting biosecurity compliance

Promoting biosecurity compliance

New research identifies factors critical to success.

Are we ready for modular loading?

Are we ready for modular loading?

Most barns in Ontario will require modifications to accommodate modular loading.

The chicks started showing signs of reovirus at 10 days of age – some lameness, some culls for leg issues and a lot of general lethargy. By 12 days old the birds were becoming significantly worse with 40 to 60 per cent displaying lameness or gait issues. Feed and water consumption was dropping; lethargy was more apparent.
Send your questions to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  and our team of industry experts will answer them in an upcoming edition of Canadian Poultry Magazine’s Ask the Vet.In the latest edition of Ask the Vet... What is the difference between ionophores and non-ionphores (chemicals)?Virtually all poultry become exposed to the coccidial parasite, which often causes the important disease coccidiosis, noted by mortality and enteritis. Often, the enteritis can trigger another important disease, necrotic enteritis.Between coccidiosis and necrotic enteritis, flocks can experience high mortality (=>20 per cent), unthriftiness, poor feed efficiency, and is the case with all disease, undue bird suffering.Because coccidiosis is such a threat to poultry, industry has come up with a number of compounds (anticoccidials) that reduce the risk of this parasite. Coccidiosis is a risk throughout the life of a bird so it is not surprising that anticoccidials were developed for use in feed to be where the parasite resides (the digestive system) and to give continuous protection for the life of the flock. | READ MORE
Virtually all poultry become exposed to the coccidial parasite, which often causes the important disease coccidiosis, noted by mortality and enteritis. Often, the enteritis can trigger another important disease, necrotic enteritis.
January 3, 2018, Toronto, Ont. - Two activist groups are urging the federal government to declare a no transport alert for livestock due to frigid temperatures.
The severity of infectious bronchitis has increased significantly, with the current strain of the virus now making its way around Ontario, notes Dr. Mike Petrik, poultry veterinary lead at McKinley Hatchery in St. Mary’s, Ont. Petrik was one of several veterinarians who took part in a roundtable discussion on the topic at the Poultry Industry Council’s Health Day.
Avian influenza (AI) is a significant issue for the entire poultry industry with the potential to disrupt food production within a given country or even on a worldwide scale. And, because the virus exists in wild bird populations, it can be spread easily and has recognized potential to mutate into new and more dangerous strains.
The International Egg Commission (IEC) Avian Influenza Global Expert Group has developed a comprehensive new resource to promote biosecurity.IEC established the group, made up of leading scientists, vets and industry experts, in 2015 to develop practical solutions to combat avian influenza (AI). The group has already made significant progress. For instance, it identified that improving biosecurity is the single most important step in protecting businesses from a wide variety of diseases, including AI.Based on these findings, it developed a comprehensive practical biosecurity checklist that is now freely available for the egg industry to download. The document offers practical guidelines to egg farmers and producer businesses to help reduce the risk of infection on their farms and operational facilities.Critical guidelines featured within the checklist include: Preventing chickens having contact with rodents and wild birds Controlling the movement of vehicles and people Consistent use of dedicated, protective clothing and footwear for anyone that has access to chickens The AI Expert Group will next release a paper on AI vaccinations, providing an evaluation of the advantages and constraints of such programs.
October 27, 2017, Edmonton, ALta. –  An Alberta government panel is recommending the province subsidize farmers and ranchers to offset costs of new occupational health and safety rules.The panel said the long list of requirements in the occupational health and safety code, ``when added up, may be significant for some and may be perceived as overwhelming or unrealistic.''It recommends several suggestions including GST rebates, and government grants.Agriculture Minister Oneil Carlier and Labour Minister Christina Gray released the panel's report on Thursday, but they aren't responding to the recommendations yet.Carlier was asked if such a subsidy would be fair if it is not offered to other industries.``Every industry is different,'' said Carlier. ``Even the crop insurance, the farming insurance, right now is subsidized in Alberta. That could be a fairness issue as well.''Gray said the government has been reviewing the reports for almost seven months and is now seeking public input for the next 11 weeks, with regulations to be drafted after that.The panel recommendations include: Employers must establish emergency evacuation plans. Employers must apply a reasonably predictable standard for safeguards to prevent a worker from falling into bins or hoppers. If a hazard assessment indicates that personal protective equipment is required, the employer must ensure that the worker is trained to use it. Employers are to provide appropriate equipment that will help workers lift, push, pull, carry, handle or transport heavy or awkward loads. Any machine that may cause injury must have protective barriers. Scaffolds must comply with industry safety standards. There must be written policy and procedures on potential workplace violence. A worker must not ride on a tongue or drawbar connected to equipment in tandem, or a bucket, forks or other equipment that pose a risk of injury. There is also a proposal on washrooms for those working in the fields. The recommendation is to let nature take its course, as it has for generations.``The norm in such instances is to perform functions otherwise appropriate for toilet facilities in the great outdoors,'' read the report.The panels could not come to a consensus on whether seatbelts are necessary, given the need for safety versus the needs of multitasking.They also couldn't agree on whether farmers and ranchers need to wear safety vests or whether roll bars or other safety devices should be mandatory on ATVs.The proposed changes are embedded in almost 200 pages of technical and legal detail that Gray herself says requires cross-referencing with occupational health and safety codes and legislation in order to fully comprehend.Gray said while those documents are available, her department will soon be coming out with a summary for Albertans that will make all the changes and implications crystal clear.``I'm committed to making sure that Albertans are able to fully participate in this and provide feedback because that is why we're here today, to engage with Albertans,'' she said.Carlier admitted that past government communication and outreach on the farm safety legislation have been problematic.There were protest rallies at the legislature when the legislation was passed in late 2015, with critics saying the rules would prevent family members from helping on the farm and would leave the farm way of life flailing in red ink and red tape.``Our new government learned some tough lessons,'' said Carlier.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), a total of 50.4 million birds were affected by highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in the U.S. in 2015. It was significantly less in 2016 – only 43,000 – but the disease has not gone away. This year, AI has continued to rear its ugly head several times.
October 18, 2017, Ottawa, Ont. – Breaded chicken products sold under the Janes brand name are being recalled due to possible contamination from salmonella.The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says the uncooked products include Pub Style Chicken Burgers and Pub Style Snacks Popcorn Chicken.The burgers carry a code of 2018 MA 12 on the package and the code on the popcorn chicken packages is 2018 MA 15.Both are sold in 800 gram packages across the country and distributed by Sofina Foods Inc. of Brampton, Ont.The CFIA says the recalled packages should be thrown out or returned to the store where purchased.Food contaminated with salmonella may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick.Young children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems may contract serious and sometimes deadly infections.
September 28, 2017, Ottawa, Ont. – A salmonella outbreak that left 13 people ill in four provinces this summer has been linked to frozen raw breaded chicken products.The Public Health Agency of Canada says seven cases were from Ontario while there were two each from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Quebec.The agency says four of the people who became sick between June and August had to be hospitalized.Officials are still investigating.Salmonella is commonly found in raw chicken and frozen raw breaded chicken products.Illnesses can be avoided if safe food handling, preparation and cooking practices are followed when preparing poultry.
September 29, 2017, Victoria, B.C. - British Columbia farmers are invited to safely and responsibly dispose of their unwanted or obsolete pesticides and livestock (including equine) medications from October 3 through 19, 2017.In partnership with the Canadian Animal Health Institute (CAHI), Cleanfarms, an industry-led, national not-for-profit environmental stewardship organization, is offering this program at no cost to farmers.The obsolete pesticide and livestock/equine medication collection program is a national program that comes to each province every three years. In between collections periods, farmers are asked to safely store their unwanted pesticides and livestock medications until they can properly dispose of them through the program."British Columbia farmers are environmentally conscious and are pleased to partner with Cleanfarms to safely dispose of obsolete pesticides and livestock medications," Stan Vander Waal, chair of the British Columbia Agriculture Council, said in a press release. "The Cleanfarms collection program provides an excellent one-stop service for British Columbia farmers to continue to protect the land."Farmers in British Columbia have a long history of good stewardship practices. Since 1998, British Columbia farmers have turned in more than 282,000 kilograms of obsolete pesticides since program inception, and 47,000 kilograms during last collection in 2014 and 2015. Farmers across the province also turned in more than 500 kilograms of livestock medication in 2014 and 2015."British Columbia has a history of successful collections," Barry Friesen, general manager of Cleanfarms, said. "The participation of British Columbia farmers shows they are good stewards of their land and committed to protecting the environment."After collection, the pesticides and medications are taken to a licensed waste management facility where they are disposed of through high temperature incineration.The following locations will be accepting obsolete pesticides and livestock/equine medications from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on the dates specified:VICTORIAOctober 3, 2017Capital Regional DistrictHartland Landfill1 Hartland AvenueT: 250-360-3030DUNCANOctober 4, 2017Bings CreekRecycling Centre3900 Drinkwater RoadT: 250-746-2540COURTENAYOctober 5, 2017Comox Valley WasteManagement Centre3699 Bevan RoadCumberlandT: 250-334-6000DELTAOctober 10 and 11, 2017Crop Production ServicesEvergro7430 Hopcott RoadT: 604-940-0290ABBOTSFORDOctober 17 and 18, 2017Univar Agriculture3256 McCallum RoadT: 604-859-4919PEMBERTONOctober 19, 2017Squamish-Lilloett RegionalDistrict Transfer Station1947 Carpenter RoadT: 604-894-6371 Ext. 236
Most animal welfare studies relating to laying hens has focused on adult birds. However, with the alternative housing systems recommended by the new code of practice, researchers are now interested in the pullet rearing environment and how it can affect adults. Studies have found that the conditions chicks and pullets are exposed to early in life can have lifelong effects on the behaviour, health and welfare of laying hens.
In caged housing, laying hens respond well to artificial lighting. But as producers transition from traditional cages to aviaries, enriched colonies and free-range systems, questions about lighting will surface.
Pecking often occurs in commercially raised turkeys that are bred for their large size. It can result in significant losses if the behaviour is not controlled, as affected birds often have to be culled or their carcasses are downgraded at processing.
It’s well known that one of the keys to successful raised without antibiotics (RWA) production is to manage gut health – and that’s best achieved as early in a bird’s life as possible. Establishing a beneficial and diverse gut microflora is not simple, notes John Cooper, poultry technical manager at Alltech U.K., but it’s very possible when producers follow a properly designed feeding and watering management plan.
Necessity is the mother of invention, as we all know, but Wayne McCauley knows this better than most. He’s nothing less than the inventor and commercializer of a new disruptive poultry-feeding technology.
As the elimination of the preventative use of antimicrobials in poultry production fast approaches, it’s time to take a closer look at ways to prevent stress and illness in the barn. One approach is by providing the optimum environment for the birds – proper ventilation is a key component of that environment.
Wichita, Kan., November 30, 2017 – Consumers can now trace Honeysuckle White brand turkeys from a family farm to their table as part of a new pilot project enabled by Cargill.Shoppers in select markets can simply text or enter an on-package code at HoneysuckleWhite.com to access the farm's location by state and county, view the family farm story, see photos from the farm and read a message from the farmer.For years, the Honeysuckle White brand has surveyed consumers about transparency.In 2014, it found 44 per cent of turkey consumers think it is important for companies to be transparent in their practices.Studies in 2016 revealed 73 per cent of consumers feel positively about companies that are transparent about where and how their products are made, grown or raised.Also, more than half of consumers consider farmers one of the most trusted sources on food-related issues.This year, the brand held consumer focus groups that confirmed consumers feel good about buying turkey raised by family farmers.These insights led the company to develop and pilot a first-to-market blockchain-based solution for turkey in partnership with Cargill.Blockchain models build a trusted, transparent food chain that integrate key stakeholders into the supply chain and create a distributed ledger with immutable records.Because all participants inside the blockchain network must agree before a new record is added to a ledger, the technology also reduces the risk of fraud or human error, and cryptography within the network ensures security, authentication and integrity of transactions.“The transparency pilot with Honeysuckle White brand turkeys is one example of how we are using technology to shape the food system of the future and deliver on consumers' desire for transparency in food,” Deb Bauler, Cargill chief information officer for North American Protein, said in a press releaseCargill will use the pilot as an opportunity to learn more about the value of traceability in its turkey supply chain.Turkeys that are part of the Honeysuckle White brand transparency pilot will be primarily available in retailers in the Texas market for the pilot year.
The protein product market has never been more crowded in Canada. The widest variety of meat, poultry egg and vegetarian options in history all entice us from their grocery store shelves, constantly vying with each other for a bigger slice of the protein product pie. However, Turkey Farmers of Canada (TFC) says that while Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter still account for over 90 per cent of annual whole turkey sales, the popularity of other turkey products throughout the year continues to grow.
"U.S. shift to cage-free eggs causing market disruption.” That was the title of an editorial blog published in July by WATT, publisher of WATT Poultry USA magazine. In it, Terrence O’Keefe, content director of agri-business, notes, “It will continue to be a bumpy transition for the cage-free egg market unless major egg purchasers set and stick to interim goals for cage-free egg purchases.”
It’s well known that livestock diseases can be transmitted by mechanical means – by boots and vehicles. In response to this fact, producers have created barn entry and exit biosecurity protocols. However, many researchers have shown that compliance can be low around the world, and on poultry and swine farms in particular.
November 23, 2017 – Each year, Americans eat an average of 250 eggs, and right now there is a surplus in most parts of the country because of increased production. In California, however, there is a decrease in the number of eggs being laid.Why? It could be a case of happier hens, new research suggests.A law in that state titled the “Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act” (also known as Prop 2) requires all eggs produced in California come from chickens “that are provided enough room to turn around and fully extend their wings”.Passed in late-2008, it came into effect on January 1, 2015 to allow producers time to transition.Now, a study shows the regulations have already had a significant impact on hens, farmers and consumers – and not just in California.It’s all part of new research from Conner Mullally of the University of Florida and Jayson Lusk of Purdue University titled “The Impact of Farm Animal Housing Restrictions on Egg Prices, Consumer Welfare, and Production in California.”“You can change the animal welfare and the treatment of animals but it’s not going to be free,” Mullally says of the study results, which were recently published in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics.“We were able to look at how much people paid for a dozen eggs compared to some cities outside of California thanks to grocery store data.”For the study, the researchers looked at 16 years of monthly data on egg production and input prices.They found that by July 2016, both egg production and the number of egg-laying hens was about 35 per cent lower than they would have been in the absence of the new regulations.Out-of-state eggs were able to compensate for falling California production until around the time the new rules were implemented, at which point imports of eggs into California fell.For consumers, the study found that the average price paid per dozen eggs was about 22 per cent higher from December 2014 through September 2016 than it would have been in the absence of the hen housing restrictions.The price impact fell over time, from an initial impact of about 33 per cent per dozen to about 9 per cent over the last six months of the observed time horizon.These price increases correspond to welfare losses of at least $117 million for the three California markets over the observed time horizon.The results suggest that because of the policy change, California consumers can expect to experience annual welfare losses of at least $25 million in future years from higher retail egg prices alone.
In terms of the modular handling of poultry, Ontario and Quebec lag decades behind Europe and the rest of North America. But, that may be changing soon.
January 19, 2018, Kelowna, B.C. – As a leading Canadian expert in sustainability, Dr. Nathan Pelletier has been awarded a prestigious Industrial Research Chair by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). The award will advance Pelletier's research activities focused on sustainability measurement and management, life-cycle thinking and resource efficiency, with a focus on the Canadian egg industry.Pelletier has collaborated with Egg Farmers of Canada since 2016 as their Research Chair in Sustainability, exploring opportunities to improve resource efficiencies and reduce the environmental impact of egg supply chains."Food systems sustainability is a subject of increasing importance. Egg Farmers of Canada strives to promote innovation and the continuous improvement of egg production through the latest scientific research," Tim Lambert, CEO of Egg Farmers of Canada, said in a press release. "Dr. Pelletier's work helps us understand the link between environmental sustainability and egg production, while developing processes and technologies with environmental and social impacts in mind."Only a handful of researchers are awarded an Industrial Research Chair from NSERC each year, making it a great honour for Pelletier. NSERC's support will allow for Pelletier to grow his research program as the first-ever NSERC/Egg Farmers of Canada Industrial Research Chair in Sustainability."NSERC's Industrial Research Chair program provides for dynamic R&D collaborations between Canada's brain trust and partners. "We are proud to support this Chair, which is developing the knowledge and supporting innovation necessary to advance the success of the sector and improve the sustainability of that production," said Marc Fortin, VP, Research Partnerships at NSERC. "The results this team will deliver could have broad benefits across Canada."Local MP Stephen Fuhr also wanted to highlight the significance of the partnership and the good work coming out of UBC Okanagan, saying, "Food systems and sustainability are two topics that are very important to our government. We know that partnerships like the one between UBC Okanagan's Dr. Nathan Pelletier and Egg Farmers of Canada, supported by organizations like NSERC, lead to discoveries that benefit all Canadians"."Pelletier is an assistant professor at UBC's Okanagan campus, working in both the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences and the campus' Faculty of Management. He has spent roughly a decade researching the science of sustainability, with a focus on food systems."I am passionate about the development of food systems that are environmentally sustainable, economically viable and that contribute to our health and well-being," Pelletier said. "Achieving this in modern food systems requires considering food supply chains in their entirety, from the beginning of production to the consumer's end use of a product – in other words, a truly holistic evaluation of sustainability risks and opportunities.""We are very proud that Dr. Pelletier is doing his innovative work at UBC Okanagan," Phil Barker, Vice-Principal and Associate Vice-President, Research at UBC's Okanagan campus, said. "His insights on sustainability and agriculture are benefiting industry, our community and the environment. This cutting edge and relevant research will have direct impacts on our region and also on global production methods. "Dr. Pelletier's work is a wonderful example of the outstanding and impactful research performed at UBC's Okanagan campus."
January 15, 2018, Sheffield Mills, N.S. - Dozens of eagles dot the branches of tall trees overlooking a snow-covered Nova Scotia farm field, a bitter wind cutting through their wings as they take turns leaving their perches to swoop through blue skies.A photographer snaps a photo from the edge of the quiet country road in Sheffield Mills, where roughly 150 eagles and other birds of prey convene to take advantage of the region's chicken farms, of which there are dozens.The rural farming community, located roughly 100 kilometres northwest of Halifax, has become a destination for shutterbugs, wildlife enthusiasts and tourists looking to take in the impressive sight.``The birds are gigantic and beautiful,'' said Megan Hodges, a member of the Sheffield Mills Community Association and a local councillor.``They really don't congregate like this in many other places, in Canada or the world, so it's very cool that they are here. They're so healthy and happy and inspiring.''Michael Gautreau, a local resident and member of the organizing committee for an annual bird watching festival, says it's the largest eagle population in eastern North America.Every day between late December and late March, resident Malcolm Lake picks up a bin full of chicken carcasses - left for him by area farmers - and brings the scraps to the field.He then flings them across the ground, far enough away from the corner of Bains and Middle Dyke roads so that the eagles are not disturbed by humans during their meal.The feedings - of which there are two or three per day - are one reason the eagles are drawn to the region, as well as the Annapolis Valley's slightly milder climate, which motivates birds from places like windswept Cape Breton to migrate there during the winter months.``Many years ago, all the farmers used to just chuck out the chicken scraps on their property, so there was all sorts of availability. That stopped largely because of scares of bird flu,'' said Lake, who moved to Sheffield Mills about six years ago.Feeding the eagles during the winter is a tradition that goes back decades, and one marked each year by the Sheffield Mills Eagles Watch, which throws the annual festival.This year's event, the 27th annual, is being held over two weekends - on Jan. 27 and 28 and on Feb. 3 and 4.More than 1,000 people from across Canada and the U.S. descend upon the sleepy countryside each year for the event, braving chilly temperatures to watch the majestic birds in flight, screeching as they snatch up the free food - sometimes clashing with each other over the scraps.``We're always praying to the weather gods that they will send us clear, cold weekends. The eagles love it when it's cold and they're really active at that time,'' said Hodges on the edge of the field, as eagles floated through the air behind her.Pancakes made with locally-sourced ingredients are served each morning of the event at the historic Sheffield Mills Community Hall, a century-old two-room schoolhouse.New to this year's festival is a partnership between the community association and the Glooscap First Nation, located roughly 35 kilometres southeast of Sheffield Mills.An eagle watch kickoff party dubbed ``Kitpu'' - the Mi'kmaq word for eagle - will be held at the community hall on the evening of Jan. 26, with local food, wine and entertainment, including the Eastern Eagle Drummers. Trevor Gould of Glooscap First Nation will be outdoors by a bonfire spouting Glooscap legends and lore.The birds are fed around 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. each day of the event.Gautreau noted that a common misconception is that chickens are being sacrificed to feed the eagles, but they're only fed the scraps that are leftover after processing.``They would scavenge for that no matter what, so we're just feeding them when the ground is snow-covered so they don't have to hunt,'' said Gautreau. ``It's a tradition and the eagles love it.''
In September 2014, A&W Foodservices of Canada announced itself as the first national quick service restaurant chain in North America to serve eggs from hens fed a vegetarian diet. A month later, the chain became the first in North America to serve chicken Raised Without the use of Antibiotics (RWA). In terms of the response to the chicken and egg campaigns, Susan Senecal, the chain’s chief marketing officer at the time and now president and chief operating officer, stated in late 2014 that, “Canadians are voting with their stomachs and the response has been fabulous.”
This is my fourth blog in regard to our journey from conventional housing to enriched housing.Of course, each week brought deadlines and we always had to keep an eye on the weather forecast. We were hampered once mid-December with lots of snow that stayed for a week, but that all disappeared until December 22.We completed the cooler and pack room concrete work and framed these areas. The vast size difference between the new barn and our present one is now obvious.The enriched colony system has a few unique features. First, there can be up to 35 hens in each living area. We will likely have around 30 due to our quota and leasing numbers, leaving us with room for future expansion.Second, the larger area allows for a few different things. The hens can roam about within their living quarters. There’s space for a curtained nesting area for privacy when the hen lays the egg. It also has two perches that run the entire length of all housing units and scratch pads to cater to a hen’s natural instincts.When explaining this system to consumers and urbanites, we tell them that this would be like you going from your average car to a limousine! Then and now Then and now The whole gang The whole gang Checking things out Checking things out   View the embedded image gallery online at: https://www.canadianpoultrymag.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=latest&layout=latest&Itemid=1#sigProGalleria203f4ea3c6 Because the space for the hens is so much larger, the barn is, thus, larger too.The barn needed more stone around it, and after we framed all the walls it was time for the trusses to go up.This occurred on December 12, and although it was not sunny, it was nicely above freezing and not cloudy or rainy.A crane operator from Vic Powell Welding proved to be an expert at moving the trusses and the main barn had three-quarters of them up before the workers’ lunch break.They did the remainder of the main barn quickly after lunch and then the smaller trusses for the cooler and pack room at the front.The shape of the barn structure was now easily visible to us, and I can better visualize what I will see from my kitchen window.Once all of the bracing was put in place, the steel went on the roof next. It took two days with no wind. All of the screws were put in place and the ridge cap was installed.We put particleboard on the front of the barn and installed the windows so that it was at least closed in for the winter weather over the Christmas holidays.In December, Nick sought more pricing and quotes. This included getting a price on a scissor lift for the packing room. This will be used in the pack room and will be level with the floor.That said it could be lowered below floor level to make it easier for taller people to place stacks of eggs. Nick is 6′1″ and I am 5′1 ½″ (sorry, but to me that extra half inch is important!) so this will come in handy.We wrestled a bit with whether we needed the scissor lift or not. In the end, this is a family egg business and we considered the next generation in making it more convenient to operate the packer.We know two other egg farmers in our immediate vicinity that want to order scissor lifts too.Therefore, we had a meeting at our place with a salesman from the Kitchener area to go over size and weight specifics, our needs and pressed for the best price with having a quantity of three in such close geographical proximity. This decision was still pending at blogging time.As the year-end approached, the deadline to pay invoices that came in came as well. We want to split the expenses between the two calendar years to spread this out for our tax situation.We’ll plod through and are aiming to have the entire barn insulated and concrete floor poured in January. Hopefully the weather cooperates!Till next time,Cindy Egg Farmerette
January 9, 2018, Delft, Netherlands – Another global retail giant has come out with new chicken policies.
The Five Freedoms of animal welfare outline five areas of handling and care that have guided animal husbandry since their formalization in 1979. They were first written to include: the freedom from hunger or thirst; discomfort; pain, injury or disease; the freedom to express normal behaviour; and freedom from fear or distress.
For recent university graduates and soon-to-be graduates who are eager to begin a career that makes a positive difference in the world of agriculture, Alltech’s new program could be a perfect fit.
January 3, 2018, Cambridge, Ont. – Canadian incubator company Jamesway was a key contributor to an innovative new hatchery in Guatemala. Incubadora Regional in the municipality of Escuintla opened its new hatchery last month. The facility will have an output of 362,880 eggs per week and, most notably, will be totally solar powered. Roberto Ordonez, owner of the family operated business, welcomed guests to the hatchery’s grand opening and proudly displayed the solar panels and Jamesway machines. In a press release, Jesus Campa, sales manager for Jamesway’s Latin American region, said, “This is a special project and we are really happy to be involved with it.” The facility includes 2,000 m2 of solar cells, which are anticipated to produce 100% of the hatchery’s electrical needs.
In March of this year, the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) released its new code of practice for layers. The code calls for producers to phase out conventional cage systems over the next 15 years. For many producers, this will mean big change at the farm level. In preparation, Canadian Poultry has gathered the stories of three Canadian egg producers who’ve already made the transition.
Wetaskiwin, Alta. – As more poultry farms across Canada and the U.S. make the shift to antibiotic-free (ABF) production, a growing body of industry examples points to feed and nutrition as a critical factor in success.“Whether you are talking about health and welfare, performance and profitability, or quality and safety – the area of feed and nutrition is an important nexus point,” says Dr. Nancy Fischer, poultry nutritionist at Country Junction Feeds, an antibiotic-free feed manufacturer serving customers and partners across Canada and the U.S. “Feed and nutrition connects and strongly influences each of these outcomes. As a result, it is one of the most powerful tools to support successful ABF production.”There’s no silver bullet to achieving a sustainable ABF operation, she says. “You have to be an attentive manager and you have to be prepared to make some changes.” But in working with numerous operations and industry partners over the past several years, the Country Junction Feeds team has found that taking the time to develop a more sophisticated approach to feed and nutrition can go a long way to ensuring a positive transition. “It’s a big piece of the puzzle.”Big piece of the puzzleFor one thing, transparency and verification requirements are getting tighter, says Fischer. To meet new retailer and food company branded program standards, operations increasingly will need not only to prove no antibiotics use on-farm, but also to prove that feed is sourced from antibiotic-free feed mills. Country Junction Feeds is the first large-scale feed manufacturer in Western Canada, and one of the first in Canada and the U.S., to achieve verified antibiotic-free status for its facilities.In addition, shifting away from antimicrobial use means operations need effective diversified approaches to support animal health and welfare as well as performance. With advances in science, knowledge, technology, sourcing and bio-based additives, poultry operations now have a much wider portfolio of resources and strategies to draw upon. “The reality today is that you can get a lot more value and benefits out of feed than you did in the past. We have seen many advances over the past few years. It’s just a matter of taking advantage of them.”Shift to greater precision, customizationAlong with the spike in demand for ABF feed sourcing, among successful ABF operations Fischer and colleagues have observed a strong drive toward more individualized nutrition plans and greater use of the latest generation feed additives. Specifically, bio-based products that can get more out of feed and play a role as antibiotic-alternatives by supporting animal health and welfare along with performance. Top examples include pre- and pro-biotics and multi-functional enzyme formulations.“Precision is one of the keys,” says Fischer. “For example, we’re finding that even small tweaks to the types of protein used and protein levels can make a big difference for gut health. Additives can do a range of things from boosting nutrition density and supporting health to reducing stress. The key is to look at the feed sources and dietary strategies as a whole, and link that to the specific needs of the birds in a particular environment and production system. Getting an overall updated analysis done by a trusted advisor is a good starting point.”Anchoring an integrated strategyImprovements to feed and nutrition approaches can help anchor an integrated strategy supporting ABF production. Additional key measures include use of vaccines, enhancement of barns with improved circulation and temperatures controls, housing with more space, stringent disinfecting and cleanliness protocols, strict biosecurity measures, improved water quality and enhanced monitoring. Further essential measures include training programs and education efforts for producers and service technicians, along with strengthened veterinary relationships and oversight.Operations also need plans in place to allow for antimicrobial use when needed, says Fischer. “Even if you’re doing everything right to minimize the need for antibiotics, no system is bulletproof. Birds sometimes get sick and treating illness is a responsible part of animal care. When this happens producers can work with animal health experts and veterinarians to determine if an antibiotic is needed. For cases where antibiotic use disqualifies the birds from an ABF market, it's important to have a ‘Plan B’ in place to direct those birds to a different market.”Driving innovationBased on the examples Country Junction Feeds has observed, producers who combine these approaches have an excellent framework for achieving ABF while maintaining competitive performance, says Fischer. “The added bonus is that by taking a stronger hands-on approach to management – often you can see better results on all outcomes compared to a traditional system.”This stems from greater management attentiveness, as well as from upgrading areas such as feed and nutrition that may have been taken for granted. “With the right approaches, typically what we hear from our customers is there are much fewer health issues and the results are better than ever.”Any type of operation can benefit, she says. “Ultimately it’s about innovation. Anything you can do to get better is going to make it easier to farm more efficiently and more profitably. Improvements will also help poultry operations qualify for new programs coming down the pike from retailers and food companies. People make the difference. If you’re committed and willing to put in the work, that work will pay off whether you are ABF or conventional.”
December 13, 2017, Saskatoon, Sask. - The Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre received a donation of poultry from the Chicken Farmers of Saskatchewan this holiday season.A delivery of 2,000 frozen chickens was made on Wednesday.Sofina Foods, through a partnership with the Saskatchewan producers, processed the chickens.For the full story, click here.
Canadian Poultry will be ringing in the New Year with a makeover. Starting in 2018, you will notice some serious cosmetic changes in our pages, including our cover. But, it’s not all cosmetic, the January issue of Canadian Poultry will also see the addition of some great new content, such as our Ask the Vet column, a revamped back page that will showcase poultry operations from across Canada, and so much more.Here’s a sneak peek at our new cover look! Stay tuned for more.
The Canadian Animal Health Surveillance Network (CAHSN) was originally an initiative of the Department of National Defense. The idea was to utilize and connect laboratories across Canada in order to have standardized methodologies, to create networks and to improve bio-containment. In their estimation, it didn’t matter so much how an outbreak of foot and mouth got into the country – whether it was accidental or intentional – they realized it would have the same impact no matter how it got there.
In the egg business, incubating male eggs and infertile eggs is a colossal waste of resources. Right now, chicks are sexed a few weeks after hatching, and the subsequent slaughter of male chicks is a significant animal welfare concern. The process is also labour intensive. It’s no surprise, then, that technologies are being developed to prevent all of this.
Laying hen nutrition, while relatively complex, has seen little major innovation in the past 20 years or more. The majority of new developments have largely been refinements to precision on nutrient levels in response to differing production systems (e.g., cages versus aviary/free-run) or to specialty eggs (e.g., omega-3 enrichment). However, an innovative new split feeding program bucks this trend.
The red junglefowl was first domesticated about 7,000 years ago. This small, colourful bird is the wild ancestor of our domestic chickens. While they are both omnivores, both dust bathe and both have males that like to cock-a-doodle-doo, when it comes to meat and egg production our modern commercial bird bears little resemblance.
December 18, 2017, Tucker, Ga. – Researchers at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C., have developed a practical solar heater for poultry houses.The low-cost solar collector is made from perforated pond liner and heated by the sun.Air coming into the poultry house is warmed as it passes through the solar collector, supplementing heat provided by propane heaters, thus reducing the potential propane usage.“We tested it in a turkey brooder room and got a maximum temperature rise of 25.4°C,” explains research lead Dr. Sanjay Shah, “though the average was 8.1°C.”The study shows that solar heaters are both economically and technically feasible for use in poultry houses, the researchers conclude.The initiative was funded by USPOULTRY and the USPOULTRY Foundation and is part of the association’s comprehensive research program.For the complete report on the study, click here.
December 13, 2017 - According to new research, eating whole eggs versus an egg-white-only meal does a better job of stimulating muscle-protein synthesis after resistance training.For the study, the results of which were published in the December issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fed 10 healthy resistance-trained young men 18 grams of protein from either egg whites or whole eggs (three eggs worth of protein) immediately after a strength workout.Blood and muscle biopsy samples were collected to measure muscle-protein synthesis.One to two weeks later, the participants who consumed the egg whites were tested again after eating whole eggs, and vice versa.Muscle-protein synthesis for 3.5 hours after exercise was greater after eating whole eggs compared to egg whites, despite each egg meal being matched for protein content.For the full story, click here. For the full study, click here.
December 13, 2017 - Over the last five years, researchers from the University of Georgia University and Georgia Institute of Technology have been using machine learning technology to understand and analyze patterns in chicken speech.Georgia Tech research engineer Wayne Daley and his colleagues studied the effects on six to 12 broiler chickens of moderately stressful conditions and recorded their vocalizations.The conditions included increased ammonia levels in the air, minor infections and higher temperatures.The resulting audio data was fed into an AI learning program that enabled it to learn the difference between contented and distressed birds through their vocalizations.The scientists hope to use their findings to better inform farmers about the health and happiness of their poultry.For the full story, click here.
October 12, 2017, Calgary, Alta. – The Alberta government is bumping up funding for more spaces at the University of Calgary's veterinary medicine program.Advanced Education Minister Marlin Schmidt says the province will reallocate $4.7 million per year to the Calgary program beginning in 2020.However, the move is accompanied by a decision to withdraw more than $8 million in annual funding to the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon.The dean of WCVM, Douglas Freeman, says he is ''deeply disappointed'' with the move, saying it severs a 54-year-old partnership that began in 1963 when the Saskatoon institution was jointly established by the four western provinces.Freeman says losing that large chunk of funding beginning in 2020 will ''certainly have an impact'' on the WCVM's programs and services.Alberta hopes to add 80 additional positions to the Calgary program by 2023, bringing its capacity to more than 200 veterinary students.''The University of Calgary's veterinary program has grown into a world-renowned institution, and with this new funding we will now have the capacity to train all of our students right here in Alberta,'' Schmidt said in a news release.''The partnership with the other provinces worked for many years, but by focusing our support on one Alberta-based program, we will achieve provincial cost savings and increase access. This will make life better for students, families, and communities.''Dru Marshall, academic vice-president at the University of Calgary, said the government investment cements the province's support for the Alberta livestock industry.Freeman, meanwhile, said the WCVM will soldier on without Alberta's participation.''One province's decision doesn't erase all that we have built and accomplished together in the past five decades,'' he said. ''The WCVM will continue to be Western Canada's veterinary college, providing quality veterinary education, research and clinical expertise to the region. We will not let the loss of support from one partner jeopardize our college's value to all western Canadians.''
The topic of slow-growth broilers is a complex one, with a battle to sway public opinion seemingly at the forefront. As background, about a century ago it took around four months for a typical commercial chicken to get to three pounds. Today’s broilers reach about twice that size in about half the time due to changes in production factors such as genetics and nutrition.
September 21, 2017, Calgary, Alta. – New research was released last week by the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity (CCFI), studying consumer concerns and expectations surrounding food transparency and the overall food system. Canadians feel the food system is headed in the right direction, proven by an increase from 30 per cent in 2016 to 43 per cent of Canadians this year.While consumer confidence is increasing, an equal number of Canadians (43 per cent) say they aren’t sure if the food system is on the right track, down from 50 per cent in 2016. These findings are significantly different than the American consumers’ findings from 2016, which showed more definitive opinions with 55 per cent choosing right direction and only 23 per cent saying they were unsure.The 2017 CCFI Public Trust Research occurred in-the-field in June, asking 1,307 Canadians about top life concerns, specifically their level of concern, trust and transparency expectations related to food and how it’s grown.Those polled clearly identified food companies to be the most responsible for providing information about food and how it’s grown. Other food system partners including farmers, government, restaurants and grocery stores also ranked highly as being responsible for transparency.“Canadians are looking for credible information to make informed decisions about their food,” stated Crystal Mackay, CCFI's president, in a press release. “This research reinforces that everyone in the Canadian food system, from the farm through to grocery stores and restaurants, should engage in conversations about food.”Those polled are personally concerned and want more information about specific topics, including food safety, environment and farm animal treatment. Consumers are looking for information on food company websites such as third-party audits, track record, practices and policies that demonstrate their values. When studying these elements of transparency, accuracy rose to the top as the most important attribute to Canadians.Many Canadians are unsure about their food or how it’s grown, but want to learn more. Canadians ranked the rising cost of food and keeping healthy food affordable as their top two life concerns above rising energy costs, healthcare and the economy for the second year in a row.These findings and other insights were key areas for discussion when leaders from across the entire Canadian food system met at the CCFI Public Trust Summit in Calgary last week.Find out more by reading the full 2017 CCFI Public Trust Research report on www.foodintegrity.ca.
September 5, 2017 - The 20-somethings were from all over the world: the U.S., England, Ireland, Turkey, Brazil, Kazakhstan and Peru. And if they had one thing in common, it was their view of the supermarket.“Do you think grocery stores are important?” they were asked by Alltech chief innovation officer, Aidan Connolly.“Yes, they’re very important,” replied one young woman, “for old people.”Leading Alltech’s Corporate Career Development Program, Connolly was hearing in this next generation of consumers a receptiveness for the sweeping, fundamental changes in the production, distribution, purchase and consumption of food heralded by the $13.4 billion Amazon acquisition of Whole Foods.“When we buy our groceries, we mostly buy online,” one student told him.The huge e-commerce company had already been dipping its toe in the food delivery market when it turned its eye toward Whole Foods. AmazonFresh, a subsidiary of Amazon.com, is a grocery delivery service currently available in some U.S. states, London, Tokyo and Berlin.The announced intentions of this mega consumer product distributor to take a step further into the brick-and-mortar premium grocery business has made waves all along the food chain, from retail to agriculture.“I think it's an extraordinary moment,” said Mary Shelman, former director of Harvard Business School's Agribusiness Program. “This could truly be a disruption rather than a change."“Disruption means you do something in a completely different way rather than just making some incremental changes to it,” Shelman continued. “Amazon, which had historically envisioned a world without brick-and-mortar stores, is now, in one fell swoop, making a significant run into that brick-and-mortar world.”The deal, providing Amazon access to Whole Foods’ 466 stores in the United States and the United Kingdom, hasn’t yet closed, and there is plenty of speculation that competitive bids could materialize. But Amazon has its reasons to pursue the acquisition with determination.“Food is the least penetrated category from the online shopping standpoint,” explained Shelman. “Amazon clearly wants to bring that into the fold. I think the realization is that it takes some different skills and infrastructure in food than perhaps they are set up to deal with, so this gives them a tremendous opportunity to learn from that, and to run with that.”Addressing widely held consumer perceptions may also play an important role in this odd-couple marriage.As Shelman sees it, “For Amazon, the biggest challenge in delivering fresh products to your home is what everybody always says: ‘Oh, I don't trust them. I want to go pick out my fruits and veggies and my meats myself.’ Whole Foods brings in that brand name that has value, so it’s: ‘I trust Whole Foods, so now I trust Amazon bringing me Whole Foods quality. Do I trust Whole Foods to deliver for me? I don't think they're very efficient. But Amazon delivering Whole Foods is like, wow!’ So both sides win from the opposite brand name.”What might this mean at some key points along the food supply chain?Producers and growers in an Amazon/Whole Foods worldThe biggest obstacle for producers trying to access markets through the food retail industry today is the enormous power held by the supermarket and big box chains as gatekeepers to the consumer.Control of in-store product positioning provides an enormous source of revenue for traditional supermarkets. So-called “slotting fees” must be paid to win premium space in order for a product to appear on the shelves of Krogers, Safeways and other major chain stores.“Only big companies can afford to do that,” said Shelman. “Even if you are a small company and can find the money to pay a slotting fee to get on the shelf, the ongoing costs of the promotion and support that it takes to actually get your sales up to a level that is acceptable to that retailer is a staggering number — something like $100 million, $10 million to introduce a new brand today.”A major casualty of this, she notes, is creativity.“We see that in the big packet food industries: They just bring out yet another flavor, another line, another variation in that brand, and they keep blocking up that shelf,” she explained. “You really don't get any true innovation there.”Shelman believes the evolution of the “Amazon marketplace” is providing new opportunities for smaller producers to bypass those costs and directly reach the consumer.But Connolly believes “Big Ag” and smaller farmers alike have some concern.“It's part of seismic changes taking place in the food chain,” he said. “The top 10 food companies have seen a decline in their sales, profits and share prices as consumers reject traditional famous food brands built around processed foods.”Every day these shifts are reflected in the news: Nestlé being a $3.5 billion target by an activist investor; Kraft’s attempted takeover of Unilever; Amazon gobbling up Whole Foods; and Wal-Mart’s purchase of Jet.comSo, if traditional “Big Food” players are in trouble, how should agribusiness respond?“It must adapt to the new reality,” says Connolly, listing the top three strategies food businesses must take to thrive in the changing landscape:Become lean: Big Food that is merging or being acquired will seek to drive costs out of the system.Deliver prosumer values to address the prosumer and millennial agenda of traceability, transparency, sustainability, welfare and removing unwanted additives.Go direct and to build your own brands again.Connolly notes that “this is a new era with the food business re-fragmenting, and smaller brands will be faster to build and sell direct. Consumer sales over the internet offer an opportunity for ‘Big Ag’ that was not available 20 years ago.”In this new coupling, who will take the lead? Shelman expects that Amazon will pull Whole Foods toward its brand promise and mass appeal: convenience and reasonably priced items across quality levels.“I don't believe Amazon will broadly adopt the same positioning and values as Whole Foods across their broader food portfolio,” she said. “I can't imagine them not selling Cheerios or Kraft Mac & Cheese online. They may initially adopt a higher quality approach in fresh products — meats and produce, since those seem to require a stronger brand to sell.”Consumers in an Amazon/Whole Foods worldToday’s consumer is swimming in a sea of options and information. The innovation of the “food kit” has given rise to the home-delivered packages offered by Blue Apron, HelloFresh, Plated, Purple Carrot and Home Chef. Nestlé has invested in the prepared meal delivery service Freshly, and Sun Basket has attracted Unilever capital.It takes time to complete a merger with all the complexities brought to the table by Amazon and Whole Foods. So what's going to happen to the rest of the food industry while t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted? Views differ about the extent to which the merger will cause change.Speaking to analysts and investors at a conference in Boston, Kroger CFO Mike Schlotman said he doesn’t envision a major shift to people ordering groceries online for delivery to their homes.“Part of me refuses to believe that everybody is just going to sit at home and everything is going to be brought to their doorstep and nobody is ever going to leave home to do anything again,” said Schlotman.But, according to Connolly, “the United States has been slower to the party than other parts of the world,” and there is plenty of evidence that significant change is already well underway.“Maybe there are some of us that take joy in walking up and down the grocery aisle and doing that as our chore, but what consumers are saying is that they're voting with their feet,” Connolly said. “They're saying, ‘If you give me a better alternative, I won’t go to the store.’"Connolly recalls the observations of a friend who is involved in the food industry in the U.K., working with Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s and Tesco, who forecasts that we're in the last five to eight years of the big box model of the supermarket.“What we're going to see in the future, according to him, is much more of a Starbucks version of a grocery store,where you can buy the small produce, organic, the pieces that you want to have hands on, but for the most part, you're going to pick it on your cell phone, ordering it directly, and it will arrive today by delivery in a half-an-hour increment,” he explained. “So if you say 4:00 p.m., it'll be between 4:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. In the future, that will be delivered by robots, which is already happening in England, and eventually it'll happen by drone.”One of the world’s largest pork producers, Smithfield Shuanghui of China, has a strategic cooperation agreement to sell packaged Smithfield meats through JD.com, a Chinese version of Amazon.“They’re creating a cold chain system from the warehouse to the customer, selling fresh chilled foods, including packaged meats,” says Michael Woolsey, senior strategic manager for Alltech China. “If a customer in the morning decides they want to have hotdogs from Smithfield for dinner that night, they take out their cell phone, dial up JD.com, order the hotdogs and the truck shows up later that afternoon. Chilled distribution the entire way to the consumer’s door. So, it’s a superior product. It’s what consumers want. It’s an exciting development.”Shelman says today’s marketplace “is just fundamentally different” as consumers are being conditioned to a whole different set of solutions.“I think for everybody now, the fun of thinking about these different scenarios and letting go of the old retail model is leading us all to be very challenged to think about what that future is going to be like,” she said. “How are we going to get our food 10 years from now?”Connolly sees profound change arriving even sooner.“If we think of machine vision, where you use a camera with artificial intelligence, you can teach your camera to recognize what you want in your meat, what you want in your produce,” he said. “It can learn to smell the produce. It can learn to recognize the color that you want. It can probably even, using these internet of things-type devices, give you all of the origins of and the pesticides used in the products, all of the things that might cause allergies.“So, your drone, equipped with the right camera and the right artificial intelligence, can do these things,” continued Connolly. “And we are not talking about something that is going to happen in the next 30 years. This can happen within the next 12 months.”And 20-somethings from Brazil to Kazakhstan can hardly wait.
August 25, 2017 - For its latest World Mycotoxin Survey, Biomin conducted more than 33,000 analyses on 8,452 finished feed and raw commodity samples from 63 countries from January to June 2017. These analyses covered common components used for feed such as corn, wheat, barley, rice, soybean meal, corn gluten meal, dried distillers grains (DDGS) and silage, among others.Results of the analyses found that deoxynivalenol (DON) and fumonisins (FUM) are the most common mycotoxins found in feedstuffs.The survey details the incidence of the main mycotoxins occurring in agricultural commodities, which include aflatoxins (Afla), zearalenone (ZEN), deoxynivalenol, T-2 toxin (T-2), fumonisins and ochratoxin A (OTA).Overall, deoxynivalenol and fumonisins were detected in 81 per cent and 71 per cent of all samples at average levels of 798 parts per billion (ppb) and 1,840 ppb, respectively. Out of all samples, 52 per cent were contaminated by zearalenone. Aflatoxins, T-2 and OTA were present in 26 per cent, 19 per cent and 18 per cent of samples, respectively.Ninety-four per cent of all samples contained at least one mycotoxin, and 76 per cent of all samples contained two or more mycotoxins. READ MORE
January 19, 2018, Montreal, Que. – According to La Coop fédérée, the Canadian supply management system should not be used as a bargaining chip for the eventual renewal of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).Doing so would have serious economic and social impacts for many regions of the country in the long-term. Many Canadians, producers and consumers, would feel the negative impacts.A recent PWC Canadareport, commissioned by La Coop fédérée, Exceldor coopérative, Burnbrae Farms and Nutrigroupe, in collaboration with the Fédération des producteurs d'œufs du Québec, Les Éleveurs de volailles du Québec and the Producteurs d'œufs d'incubation du Québec, indicates that between 58,000 and 80,000 jobs are threatened in Canada in the event that the supply management system disappears.A difficult futureAccording to the results of the study, the primary consequence of abandoning the system will be that the cost of U.S. imports into Canada will likely become the reference price for the combined U.S. and Canadian markets.In concrete terms, this means that far fewer products from local producers will be available to consumers.The PwC Canada report estimates that a dismantling of supply management may result in a market share loss of 80% to 90% of Canadian egg production, which will leave them with 10% to 20% of the current market. Moreover, the market share for chicken production may decrease by 40% to 70%.Another consequence is that the vast majority of the Canadian turkey industry may disappear.From an economic perspective, these market share losses would translate into a decrease in Canadian GDP ranging from $4.6 to $6.3 billion.No gain for the Canadian consumerWill abandoning the system benefit Canadian consumers in terms of lower prices? According to the report, the price declines will likely be moderate.In addition, in terms of social impacts, the decline in the number of family farms could undermine social cohesion in rural areas.The findings of the report therefore do not predict anything positive for the Canadian agri-food sector. In fact, the authors note that:In the event that the supply management system is dismantled, it is reasonable to expect that in the absence of a long transition period and major restructuring, U.S. companies will fill a large portion of the markets for eggs and chicken in Canada: Significant negative threats to biosecurity and the environment will likely emerge as a result of the system being dismantled; Governments' attempts to mitigate these impacts would require massive government support and a long transition process; Some areas with large numbers of small egg and chicken producers may have disproportionately negative effects, and provinces without major processing companies will likely lose most of their production; Employees who lose their jobs will probably find it difficult to find a new job because the average level of education for these employees is well below the national average; Canada will increase its dependence on imports for staple foods, which will increase the risk of food-related shocks; An open market regime could lead to a decline in the quality of the food supply and a decrease in consumer choice. "The Canadian model enables us to collectively take advantage of an agriculture that was built and has evolved according to our values, that takes into account our collective concerns in terms of the economy, geography, the environment, food security, and innovation, and one that has so far delivered results that speak for themselves, said the president of La Coop fédérée, Ghislain Gervais during a media event. The system works."In the name of what must we therefore accept the imposition of an American-style of agriculture, that is to say a highly concentrated and industrialized form of agriculture that does not respond to the characteristics of our country or our values?""By its very nature, the Canadian agricultural model must be protected. And to do this, I think it is legitimate to claim, in its name, a measure of protection. On behalf of its members, its partners, its clients, its consumers and our collective values, La Coop fédérée is, today, asking for just this," concluded Gervais.To read a summary of the report: web.lacoop.coop/en/publication
This article was originally published on The Conversation, an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts. Disclosure information is available on the original site.
January 10, 2018, Ottawa, Ont. – Federal cabinet ministers have fanned out south of the border in hope of energizing U.S. supporters of the beleaguered NAFTA deal as yet another critical round of talks is set to begin in Montreal later this month.In this latest effort to sing NAFTA's praises to the Americans, the stakes appear highest for Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay.On Sunday, MacAulay will deliver Ottawa's message from a big stage in Nashville, where he will become the first Canadian cabinet minister to deliver a keynote address at the annual convention of the American Farm Bureau Federation. The conference is a huge gathering of more than 5,000 delegates from across the U.S. agricultural industry.MacAulay's speech comes at a crucial time for the future of the deal, which he says has had big impact on the continent's farming sectors.But the significance of his address will be even greater given the higher-profile event on the convention calendar expected in the days after his appearance – a speech by U.S. President Donald Trump.Trump, who will become the first American president to address the convention since George H. W. Bush in 1992, has repeatedly threatened to begin withdrawing the U.S. from the agreement.''It's without a question a big deal,'' MacAulay told The Canadian Press in an interview when asked about speaking before Trump at the same convention.''This is very important, this meeting, in my opinion, and I'm very pleased to be there and hopefully it works well.''Fortunately for MacAulay, the U.S. farming lobby has been a leader in opposing the push to abandon NAFTA, which means his pro-trade message is likely to get a warmer reception than that of his presidential counterpart.In his address, MacAulay is expected to remind the crowd how about 80 food and agriculture organizations sent a warning to the U.S. administration that pulling out of NAFTA would immediately hurt their industries and kills tens of thousands of jobs.MacAulay, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale have all been meeting political and business leaders in the U.S. this week to promote NAFTA's benefits.Their visits come ahead of the next round of bargaining, which starts Jan. 23 when negotiators from Canada, the U.S. and Mexico reconvene in Montreal.Goodale met with strong pro-NAFTA officials in Kentucky, including Gov. Matt Bevin and the leaders of the state's chamber of commerce.In prepared remarks for his speech Friday, he stressed the importance of identifying and dealing properly with any genuine unfairness in the deal, rather than ''tanking the whole relationship.''Meanwhile, McKenna travelled to California for meetings Friday with officials, including Gov. Jerry Brown, who also supports NAFTA.Canada's message hasn't changed as it renews its defence of the trade deal, said McKenna, who continues to repeat the mantra that NAFTA is key to tackling environmental challenges and boosting economic growth in all three countries.''I think what we're doing is just looking at all the opportunities to make the case for why NAFTA is really important,'' McKenna said.One U.S.-based trade expert said the ''maple charm offensive'' by Canadian political leaders over the past year has been effective at providing outside support to pro-NAFTA supporters in the U.S. Congress.But Dan Ujczo, a lawyer for Dickinson Wright in Columbus, Ohio, doesn't think the needle has moved much for those opposed to or even undecided on the deal.''I don't think hearts and minds have been changed,'' said Ujczo, who wants Canada to deploy a fresh set of messengers – and messages.It's time to go beyond touting NAFTA's benefits and start acknowledging that there have been some losers in North American integration, Ujczo said – and explain how best to help those people.Canadian businesses should also be playing a bigger role in the U.S. outreach effort, he added.January is likely to be a critical month for NAFTA, since it includes another round of potentially substantive negotiations as well as Trump's latest State of the Union address.Until then, Trump's NAFTA message Monday will be ''an important measuring stick'' on how the administration plans to proceed, he said.''While I don't expect the president to make any promises about not withdrawing from NAFTA, I think his comments will add some clarity as to how effective the farm lobby's advocacy has been.''
Canadian Poultry Magazine strives to provide the industry with informative and timely information and innovations to help maximize profitability, efficiency and safety. As a reader, we are requesting your help with this goal. Please lend us five minutes of your time to complete the CP Reader’s Survey. Through this survey our editorial team hopes to gather input from producers across the country in order to develop a more thorough understanding the issues readers want to see addressed by industry experts between our pages.All responses to this survey are completely confidential. Thank-you in advance for your valuable opinions. Take the survey now! www.CPSurvey.ca Take the survey before Feb. 9, 2018 and you will be entered into a draw to an iPad Mini!
November 29, 2017, Regina, Sask. - Saskatchewan has announced amendments to the province's Animal Protection Act, which the government suggests will give it more teeth.Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart announced the changes Monday and they include broadening the definition of animal distress and giving animal protection officers the ability to issue corrective action orders.It will also expand the locations animal protection workers can inspect to include boarding kennels and other places where services for animals are provided.Under the amendments, veterinarians must report suspected cases of animal cruelty.''It's bound to keep those who operate slaughterhouses and kennels on their toes a bit and they'll make sure they're in compliance with the Act at all times,'' Stewart told reporters at the legislature Monday.Kaley Pugh of Animal Protection Services Saskatchewan said the amendments will make it possible to investigate outside of normal hunting and trapping procedures.She said the act was very vague before, so her group is pleased with the amendments.''Animals that are kept in unsanitary conditions will now be considered distressed, animals that require protection from injurious heat or cold will be defined as distressed, so those are improvements that are significant for us,'' Pugh said.Stewart said the amendments will bring Saskatchewan's legislation in line with other jurisdictions, as well as provide clear direction for enforcement agencies.Calls for tougher regulations in the province came last year after 14 dogs died of heat stroke and dehydration when a rooftop heating unit malfunctioned at a facility in Saskatoon.The owner of the kennel, Dave Deplaedt, pleaded guilty to negligence under the Animal Protection Act and his business was fined $14,000, plus a victim surcharge of $5,600.The president of the Saskatchewan Veterinary Medical Association, Dr. Lesley Sawa, said the organization was pleased to see mandatory veterinary reporting of animal neglect and abuse included in the amendments, noting the organization had requested it.''Updating the Animal Protection Act will go a long way in helping ensure the health and welfare of animals across the province,'' Sawa said in a news release.Pugh said some vets have been reluctant to report suspected abuse in the past.''They were worried about the effect on their businesses prior to this. They didn't want to get in trouble with their clients if they did have something they wanted to report,'' she said.
For most marketers and producers of goods, the Chinese market spells opportunity. After all, the world’s most populous country boasts a potential 1.4 billion customers and its middle class and consumer purchasing power are both on the rise.
November 1, 2017, Ottawa, ON – The Canadian Meat Council (CMC) released its submission to the Government of Canada pertaining to the “Consultations on Canada's discussions with the remaining members of what was previously the Trans-Pacific Partnership”.The Council’s submission called for the “earliest possible completion, ratification and implementation” of the TPP. Failure to do so, according to the Council, would result in a devastating blow to the Canadian Meat Industry, which represents a significant segment of Canada’s economy and jobs.The submission highlights the important part in which international trade represents for the Canadian livestock and meat sector. In 2016, $6.2 billion of meat products was exported to more than 100 countries around the globe. Twenty-eight per cent or $1.7 billion was exported to TPP-11 members, particularly Japan.According to the CMC, “under TPP-11, Canadian meat exports to Japan are projected to increase by $500 million.” Without the speedy implementation of the TPP, Canada risks losing a critical competitive advantage to other large exporters such as the European Union.The Canadian meat industry amid these current negotiations, is reminded of the costly decline it experienced as a result of stalled Canadian negotiations with South Korea. The CMC notes that “not only did Canadian meat exports collapse by 56 per cent after competitors gained preferential access to the Korean market, the Canadian market access disadvantage will endure during the remaining years of the 15-year implementation period of the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement.The cost of Canada’s non-participation in the TPP could spell disaster for the meat industry, particularly, in the meat packing and processing sector which is typically a major or primary employer in towns and cities across Canada.The CMC affirms that abstention or indecision by Canada should not be accepted as a viable option. The Council also notes that should the ratification or implementation of the TPP by other countries be delayed, Canada should immediately re-invigorate negotiations of the Canada-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement to counter the increasing loss of Canadian competitiveness to other countries.
Numerous major North American food makers, restaurants and retailers have formed a united front committed to sourcing only cage-free eggs by 2025. That being the case, it seems inevitable that most producers will shy away from enriched housing as the industry phases out conventional cages.
November 8, 2017, Hanoi, Vietnam – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau insists he will not be pressed into signing an updated Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty too hastily, even if some of Canada's partners are keen to secure a quick agreement.Trudeau made the remarks Wednesday when asked whether he would walk away from the 11-country trade pact if the revised deal failed to include several new ``progressive'' chapters Canada has been pushing for.``We believe that progressive, solid trade deals can help citizens in all sorts of different countries, at different levels of development and our ministers are very much focused on that,'' Trudeau told reporters in Hanoi, where he started his multi-day trip through Southeast Asia.``But let me, of course, remind everyone that Canada will not be rushed into a deal that is not in the best interests of Canada and of Canadians.''Trudeau then added, in French: ``I can assure people that we will not be rushed into signing a deal at all costs.''The remaining TPP economies are trying to revive the deal following President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw earlier this year.The TPP is expected to be a central theme at this week's Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation summit in the Vietnamese city of Danang. Trudeau will attend the APEC meetings and there has been speculation that some kind of deal could be reached by the end of the summit.International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne has said Canada wants the updated TPP to contain progressive chapters on the environment as well as workers' and women's rights.But trade experts have predicted that persuading Asia-Pacific economies on progressive chapters will be a tough sell.Some of the countries at the table are far less developed than Canada and would have difficulty implementing them, while others might prefer to leave social issues separate from trade agreements.Trudeau is travelling in the Asia-Pacific over the next week to strengthen Canada's ties to the region.He arrived Wednesday in the buzzing, moped-filled city of Hanoi. It's the capital of a fast-growing country that has a deep cultural connection for many Canadians.Trudeau met Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and civil society leaders, with whom he discussed issues like human rights, gender equality and freedom of expression.On Thursday, he's scheduled to travel to Ho Chi Minh City to visit the stock exchange, hold a roundtable with business leaders and appear at a university event.He will head to Danang on Saturday for the two-day APEC leaders' summit, before moving on to the Philippines to attend the annual meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.At both the APEC and ASEAN events, Canada is expected to press its trade agenda. It's already engaged in exploratory trade talks with the ASEAN countries as well as negotiations to salvage the TPP.When it comes to the members of the TPP, much of the focus remains on Japan, the world's third-largest economy.But Vietnam is also at the TPP table and it's an ASEAN member, which sets it up as a key partner in a region where Canada wants to increase its presence.Vietnam, projected to see economic growth this year of 6.3 per cent, features a sturdy consumer base, an emerging business class and an expanding footprint in supply chains.Dominic Barton, the global managing partner of consulting giant McKinsey & Co., said in an interview that the rapid changes in Vietnam's key cities remind him, in some respects, of what Shanghai went through less than two decades ago.Barton, who also chairs the Trudeau government's economic growth council, said Vietnam is an example of why Canada must be ``motoring ahead'' into Asia, particularly with so much uncertainty around the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.``We've got to go hard on those Asian relationships,'' said Barton, who led McKinsey operations in Asia and South Korea for nearly a decade.``I think we just have to have irons in many fires.''Dan Ciuriak, a former deputy chief economist for what is now known as Global Affairs Canada, believes an updated TPP pact is closer to fruition than Canada's potential deals with ASEAN or China.``Vietnam and Japan would be the two biggies for Canada in terms of diversifying trade,'' said Ciuriak, who is now the director of Ciuriak Consulting Inc.There are other parts of the original TPP where Canada would like to see modifications.A senior government official has said Canadian negotiators are seeking changes to the original TPP in several areas, such as its intellectual-property provisions, cultural exemptions and its impact on Canada's supply management system for dairy, poultry and eggs.Former Quebec premier Jean Charest, who is honorary chair of the ASEAN-Canada Business Council, said Vietnam not only shows real economic potential, it also has strong people-to-people links with Canada.Both countries have French heritages and both are members of la Francophonie, he said in an interview.But Charest said it's the story of the Vietnamese refugees, or boat people, who came to Canada in the late 1970s that really forged the bond.By 1980, around 60,000 people from Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos arrived in Canada after fleeing violence in their homelands. Today, about 240,000 people in Canada have Vietnamese roots.``Certainly, the story of the boat people in Quebec, I can tell you without hesitation that it resonates positively in the minds of Quebecers as being a good example of integration into the broader Quebec society,'' said Charest.However, when looking at today's Vietnam, Charest said the promising economy is accompanied by negatives, such as the fact ``it is a communist regime and everything that comes with it.''Canada's pursuit of a more open trading relationship with Vietnam comes with pressure to have frank discussions about the serious concerns over the communist government's human-rights record.Human Rights Watch calls the Vietnam's record ``dire in all areas'' because of the Communist party's firm grip on political power. The group also said the government has harassed, intimidated, physically harmed and jailed its opponents.Earlier this week, Conservative Sen. Thanh Hai Ngo urged Trudeau to use his time with Vietnamese leaders to raise Canada's ``serious concerns'' about Vietnam's human-rights abuses, such as its suppression of a growing democratic movement.Canada and Vietnam signed a partnership agreement Wednesday that would focus on deepening co-operation in many areas, like trade, security and cultural exchanges.Trudeau told reporters the agreement would also help advance the countries' ongoing dialogue on human rights.
November 7, 2017, Geneva, Switzerland – The World Health Organizations (WHO) is recommending that farmers and the food industry stop using antibiotics routinely to promote growth and prevent disease in healthy animals.The new WHO recommendations aim to help preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics that are important for human medicine by reducing their unnecessary use in animals. In some countries, approximately 80% of total consumption of medically important antibiotics is in the animal sector, largely for growth promotion in healthy animals.Over-use and misuse of antibiotics in animals and humans is contributing to the rising threat of antibiotic resistance. Some types of bacteria that cause serious infections in humans have already developed resistance to most or all of the available treatments, and there are very few promising options in the research pipeline.“A lack of effective antibiotics is as serious a security threat as a sudden and deadly disease outbreak,” Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of WHO, said in a statement. “Strong, sustained action across all sectors is vital if we are to turn back the tide of antimicrobial resistance and keep the world safe."A systematic review published recently in The Lancet Planetary Health found that interventions that restrict antibiotic use in food-producing animals reduced antibiotic-resistant bacteria in these animals by up to 39%. This research directly informed the development of WHO’s new guidelines. WHO strongly recommends an overall reduction in the use of all classes of medically important antibiotics in food-producing animals, including complete restriction of these antibiotics for growth promotion and disease prevention without diagnosis. Healthy animals should only receive antibiotics to prevent disease if it has been diagnosed in other animals in the same flock, herd, or fish population.Where possible, sick animals should be tested to determine the most effective and prudent antibiotic to treat their specific infection. Antibiotics used in animals should be selected from those WHO has listed as being “least important” to human health, and not from those classified as “highest priority critically important”. These antibiotics are often the last line, or one of limited treatments, available to treat serious bacterial infections in humans.“Scientific evidence demonstrates that overuse of antibiotics in animals can contribute to the emergence of antibiotic resistance,” says Dr Kazuaki Miyagishima, Director of the Department of Food Safety and Zoonoses at WHO. “The volume of antibiotics used in animals is continuing to increase worldwide, driven by a growing demand for foods of animal origin, often produced through intensive animal husbandry.”Many countries have already taken action to reduce the use of antibiotics in food-producing animals. For example, since 2006, the European Union has banned the use of antibiotics for growth promotion. Consumers are also driving the demand for meat raised without routine use of antibiotics, with some major food chains adopting “antibiotic-free” policies for their meat supplies. Alternative options to using antibiotics for disease prevention in animals include improving hygiene, better use of vaccination, and changes in animal housing and husbandry practices. WHO's Guidelines on use of medically important antimicrobials in food-producing animals build on decades of expert reports and evaluations of the role of agricultural antibiotic use in the increasing threat of antibiotic resistance. They contribute directly to the aims of the Global action plan on antimicrobial resistance adopted by the World Health Assembly in 2015 and the Declaration of the High-Level Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on Antimicrobial Resistance, adopted in 2016.
November 2, 2017, Ottawa, Ont. – The final step in concluding a new Federal Provincial Agreement for Chicken (FPA) was taken earlier this week. On October 31st, Farm Products Council of Canada determined that Governor-in-Council approval is not required for the new FPA.This brings to close more than eight years of discussions and negotiations to arrive at a new allocation methodology that is not only supported by all federal and provincial signatories, but also delivers on the requirements of the Farm Products Agencies Act for Chicken Farmers of Canada (CFC) to take comparative advantage into account when allocating production growth.The new FPA provides increased certainty to all industry stakeholders. "With it, we have the tools we need to grow, develop and thrive," Benoît Fontaine, chair of Chicken Farmers of Canada, added in a press release. "This FPA marks our industry's total commitment to a dynamic and always evolving supply management system for chicken."With the new FPA in hand, today, the Canadian chicken industry welcomed back Alberta Chicken Producers into the agreement, bringing all provinces back into the system. Alberta had withdrawn from the FPA in 2013, but continued to work at CFC on the modernization of the allocation system to ensure that Canadians from coast to coast continue to enjoy a steady supply of fresh, high-quality, Canadian-grown chicken."Our focus on responding quickly to the changing demands of consumers in every province, and to meeting all our challenges, are among the many reasons we are a Canadian success story," Fontaine said. "We're excited to have all our provinces back on board.""The agreement provides strength to the Canadian chicken industry and shows that we can work together to evolve our supply management system for the benefit of all," CFC executive director Michael Laliberté added.Supply management is a uniquely Canadian response to market volatility in a perishable product market. Consumer demand is rarely static. It changes as a result of demographic shifts, immigration from countries with different food preferences, and new science related to human health and nutrition.This latest FPA is paramount to the Canadian chicken industry's continued strategic growth. The active support and participation of the federal and provincial governments enhances the nation's international trade position, backing Canada'sright to use the marketing systems of its choice.
October 20, 2017, Washington, D.C. – American policy-makers admit they have not worked to analyze the economic impact of the end of the North American Free Trade Agreement, even as President Donald Trump threatens to cancel the agreement.That absence of research applies to both elected branches of the U.S. government: neither the White House nor congressional researchers have an impact assessment, despite uncertainty over the fate of the 23-year-old pact.Frustrations at the bargaining table exploded into the open at the last round where the most common conversation topic in the hallways involved whether Trump's team was intentionally trying to sabotage a deal.A research unit for Congress, the U.S. Government Accountability Office, which performs studies for lawmakers, tells The Canadian Press that it has in the past conducted analysis on international issues like the monitoring of Iran's nuclear program, but nobody has yet requested research on NAFTA.``We have not been asked to look at the (NAFTA) issue,'' said an official there.It's the same at the White House. Donald Trump's trade czar, Robert Lighthizer, says he hasn't yet done the research. Inside U.S. Trade quoted him telling a group of American reporters that his current focus is trying to get a deal, not studying life without NAFTA.The countries have pushed the negotiation schedule into next year, shelving talk of a quick easy agreement.``You always think about what might happen, but we haven't done any analysis of that at this point,'' Lighthizer told a gathering of American trade reporters earlier this week, according to Inside U.S. Trade. ``No, we don't really have a plan beyond trying to get a good agreement...``(But) if we end up not having an agreement, my guess is all three countries will do just fine.''The Canadian government says it has been researching the potential impact of various trade scenarios.Some trade-watchers say it's stunning that Washington isn't.Duncan Wood, a Mexico expert, said the U.S. is certainly acting like it wants to leave the pact, putting forward proposals the other countries could never accept. Wood said he fears the Trump administration is inching toward a pullout – without doing its homework.``That doesn't make me feel very good when I go to bed at night,'' he told panel this week at the Washington International Trade Association.``If they were taking these decisions based upon years and years of studies and saying, 'You know what, we think we'll be absolutely fine, because the stats show it,' I could say, 'Okay, fine, I get it, I may disagree, because I like Mexico, but for the United States, I get it'...``(But) that (absence of research) worries me.''He cited the poultry trade as just one example of the complex potential consequences.Producers sell different chicken parts to different markets, based on local preferences. He said Mexico's huge chicken tariffs would lead to an oversupply of dark meat on the U.S. market; a shortage in Mexico; and chicken plants moving to Mexico.But he said broken cross-border supply chains aren't what worries him most. Wood expressed fear that the current fight at the NAFTA table is a prelude to a bigger battle against the World Trade Organization and international trading system: ``These are dark days, my friends... This is near-apocalyptic what we're looking at. I don't mean to exaggerate. I'm not one for hyperbole.``I actually am terrified about what's about to happen.''The last Republican president expressed similar concerns.George W. Bush delivered a gloomy speech this week that, without mentioning Donald Trump, warned about the degradation of American democracy, mean-spiritedness, racism, conspiracy-mongering, and attacks on open commerce.``Free trade helped make America into a global economic power,'' Bush said. ``We see a fading confidence in the value of free markets and international trade – forgetting that conflict, instability, and poverty follow in the wake of protectionism.''He said policy-makers should be sensitive to the painful effects globalization has had on some industries: ``People are hurting. They are angry. And, they are frustrated. We must hear them and help them. But we can't wish globalization away, any more than we could wish away the agricultural revolution or the industrial revolution.''The Canadian government says it's been studying a variety of NAFTA contingency scenarios since last August.Some of that work has involved the legal and political questions surrounding a breakup. But officials say multiple departments, including Global Affairs Canada and the Department of Finance, have also been conducting economic analysis of the potential impact of a NAFTA cancellation.The former head of Foreign Affairs' computer-modelling unit, Dan Ciuriak, said he's working on a paper on different scenarios for the C.D. Howe Institute. His preliminary estimate is that the most drastic result – the end of free trade in North America – would see Canada's economy contract 2.5 per cent long-term, with a larger shock in the short term.

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