Business & Policy
May 23, 2017, Washington, D.C. - The Trump administration set the clock ticking toward a mid-August start of renegotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico to try to win better terms for U.S. workers and manufacturers.With a letter to U.S. lawmakers, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said he triggered a 90-day consultation period with Congress, industries and the American public that would allow talks over one of the world's biggest trading blocs to begin by Aug. 16.Renegotiation of NAFTA was a key campaign promise of U.S. President Donald Trump, who frequently called the 23-year-old trade pact a "disaster" that has drained U.S. factories and well-paid manufacturing jobs to Mexico.Trump has pledged to use the NAFTA talks to shrink goods trade deficits that stood at $63 billion with Mexico and $11 billion with Canada last year, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.Lighthizer told reporters NAFTA has been successful for U.S. agriculture, investment services and the energy sector, but not for manufacturing. He added that he hopes to complete negotiations by the end of 2017."As a starting point for negotiations, we should build on what has worked in NAFTA and change and improve what has not," Lighthizer said in a conference call with reporters. "If renegotiations result in a fairer deal for American workers there is value in making the transition to a modernized NAFTA as seamless as possible."In his letter to congressional leaders, Lighthizer said NAFTA needs modernization for provisions on digital trade, intellectual property rights, labor and environmental standards, regulatory practices, rules for state-owned enterprises and food safety standards.The Obama administration attempted to address many of these deficiencies in the 2015 Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, which included Canada and Mexico, but Trump pulled out of TPP in one of his first official acts as president.Canada and Mexico both welcomed the U.S. move to launch a NAFTA revamp.Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray, speaking at a news conference with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Washington, said the trade pact needed updating after nearly 25 years."The world has changed, we've learned a lot and we can make it better," he said.Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said Canada was "steadfastly committed to free trade in the North American region," noting that 9 million U.S. jobs depend on trade and investment with Canada.U.S. Chamber of Commerce president Thomas Donohue urged U.S. officials to "do no harm" to businesses that depend on trade with Canada and Mexico and to move quickly on a new trilateral deal.As the administration took its first formal step toward NAFTA renegotiations, the U.S. Commerce Department launched an investigation on Thursday into Boeing Co's (BA.N) anti-dumping claims against Canadian rival Bombardier's (BBDb.TO) new CSeries jetliners, drawing a threat from Canada to review a deal to buy Boeing fighter jets.Lighthizer's letter is less detailed than a draft sent to lawmakers in March, which listed as objectives tax equality and the ability to reimpose tariffs if Mexican and Canadian imports pose a serious injury threat to U.S. industry.Trump late in April had considered a full withdrawal from NAFTA, but was persuaded by senior officials in his administration to pursue negotiations instead. Lighthizer said he did not think a new threat to withdraw from NAFTA would be necessary."As the president has said, we are going to give renegotiation a good strong shot," Lighthizer told reporters, adding that he believed Canada and Mexico would negotiate in good faith.He said he hoped to maintain the current trilateral format of NAFTA, but noted that many of NAFTA's problems are bilateral issues that need to be worked out with either Mexico or Canada."Our hope is that we can end up with the structure similar to what we have now. If that should prove to be impossible, then we'll move in a different direction."Asked if the NAFTA talks would seek to resolve trade disputes over imports of Canadian softwood lumber or Mexican sugar, Lighthizer said he hoped those issues would be settled before the NAFTA talks begin under separate negotiations being conducted by the U.S. Commerce Department.A Canadian source close to the lumber negotiations said it was unlikely an agreement could be reached by mid-August, however.Lighthizer said he will seek public comment on the NAFTA process and intends to publish negotiating objectives on or about July 16.
May 12, 2017, Ottawa, Ont. - Canada’s farmers and processors need the federal government’s help to navigate the increasingly complex labyrinth of international trade to ensure they have access to the foreign markets they depend on, according to a report released Tuesday by the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry.The committee met with over 500 witnesses and other stakeholders from across the country to examine international market access priorities for Canadian farmers and processors — a key contributor to the Canadian economy — to understand the challenges they face when exporting their products and to identify possible solutions to facilitate and encourage international market access.The committee’s report, Market Access: Giving Canadian Farmers and Processors the World, outlines ways to ensure Canadian products get to shelves around the world.World-renowned products like Quebec maple syrup, Alberta beef, blueberries from Atlantic Canada, Okanagan and Niagara wines, and canola from the Prairies all reinforce the Canada Brand.The committee sees the Canada Brand as crucial to positioning Canadian products on the international stage.The committee makes 18 recommendations in its report, including: That the federal government eliminate non-tariff barriers to trade and pursue free trade agreements with other countries. That all levels of government work together to eliminate interprovincial trade barriers and invest in rail, road and marine infrastructure to guarantee that Canadian producers and processors are able to efficiently transport their products to consumers. That the federal government improve access to infrastructure grants for farmers and food producers who want to invest in new technologies, and that Employment and Social Development Canada and Immigration and Citizenship Canada create programs that help farmers hire foreign workers to address labour shortages. Adopting the committee’s recommendations will help the government ensure that the Canadian agriculture sector continues to thrive.
May 11, 2017 - According to Reuters, China has lifted a ban on Canadian poultry imports implemented in 2014 following an outbreak of bird flu, its quality watchdog said in a statement on Thursday.The ban had been in force since December 2014, when Canada reported the detection of H5-type bird flu on two farms in British Columbia.
May 5, 2017, Winnipeg, Man. - U.S. President Donald Trump’s criticism of the protected Canadian dairy system has emboldened U.S. farm groups to tackle other longstanding agriculture irritants, as the countries move toward rewriting trade rules.U.S. poultry exporters, who include Tyson Foods and Pilgrims Pride Corp., as well as egg sellers, are expected to seek greater access to Canada’s tightly controlled market in renegotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).The U.S., the world’s second-biggest chicken exporter, will demand market access gains at least equal to those they would have realized under the failed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal, industry groups and experts say.Canada currently allows tariff-free egg imports amounting to 2.98 per cent of Canadian production, and chicken imports worth 7.5 per cent. Imports would have doubled for eggs and jumped by more than one-quarter for chicken under TPP.Last year, U.S. poultry sales to Canada totalled $509 million, while American egg and egg product exports to Canada amounted to $46 million, according to USAPEEC (all figures US$). READ MORE
April 21, 2017, Ottawa, Ontario - With Donald Trump ramping up his anti-Canada trade rhetoric, Justin Trudeau says the United States – like other countries – subsidizes its dairy and agriculture industries by hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars.And the prime minister says he will continue to protect Canada's agriculture producers, including the supply management system, as he tries to engage in ''fact-based'' conversation with the U.S. administration on a variety of trade irritants.''Let's not pretend we're in a global free market when it comes to agriculture,'' Trudeau said Thursday in a question-and-answer session with Bloomberg television that preceded Trump's latest trade invective.''Every country protects, for good reason, its agricultural industries. And we have a supply management system that works very well here in Canada.... The Americans and other countries chose to subsidize to the tunes of hundreds of millions of dollars, if not billions of dollars, their agriculture industries, including their dairy.''He said the U.S. currently enjoys a $400-million dairy surplus with Canada.''So it's not Canada that is a challenge here.''Minutes later came the now-familiar sight of Trump in the Oval Office, followed by a pointed attack on Canadian trade practices and the impact on U.S. interests.''Canada, what they've done to our dairy farm workers, is a disgrace. It's a disgrace,'' Trump said. ''Rules, regulations, different things have changed. And our farmers in Wisconsin and New York State are being put out of business.''Trump was echoing and amplifying the complaints of Wisconsin and New York governors, who say Canada's decision to create a new lower-priced, classification of milk product has frozen U.S. producers out of the Canadian market.Trudeau acknowledged the concerns of those two states, but said he didn't want to ''over-react.'' It was Trudeau's first comment since Trump first attacked the Canadian dairy industry on Tuesday at an event in Wisconsin.Canada's ambassador to the United States, David MacNaughton, fired back at Trump's criticism on Tuesday by writing to the governors of those two states telling them that the plight of their farmers was not Canada's fault. He said it was caused by U.S. and global overproduction of milk.''Any conversation around that starts with recognizing the facts. Now I understand how certain governors are speaking to certain constituencies on that. It's politics,'' Trudeau said.''Different countries have different approaches and we're going to engage in a thoughtful fact-based conversation on how to move forward in a way that both protects our consumers and our agricultural producers.''
April 20, 2017, Ottawa, Onario - Conservative leadership candidate Maxime Bernier has welcomed U.S. Donald Trump's swipe at the Canadian dairy industry, saying that it's not just American farmers who are losing out.Bernier says Canadians suffer more under supply management than Americans and if elected leader he promises to abolish the system.On Tuesday, Trump targeted Canada explicitly in taking the next steps in his ''Buy American, Hire American'' policy, suggesting Wisconsin farmers are suffering because of the Canadian system.Supply management has long vexed conservatives because it stands in sharp contrast to their belief in free markets, but most refuse to suggest dismantling the system as there is support for it in key constituencies.Among them is Quebec, but that's not stopped Bernier from lashing out against the farms in his home province who are part of the system, making him the lone leadership contender to do so.Bernier calls supply management a cartel, a phrase his competitor Erin O'Toole says turns farming families into nothing more than political props.O'Toole says Bernier's policy demonstrates a lack of understand of agriculture and that the current system has nothing to do with any market specific issues in the United States.
June 16, 2017, Montreal, QC - Compensating farmers who paid for production quotas with the revenue from a temporary tax would allow the government to abolish supply management in the dairy, poultry, and egg sectors, shows a Viewpoint published by the Montreal Economic Institute (MEI).Such a measure would be positive both for farmers and for Canadian consumers. "If the government decided to compensate farmers for the value of their quotas over a period of ten years, it would have to offer them annual payments of $1.6 billion. Yet the net benefit for consumers would be from $3.9 billion to $5.1 billion each year, and up to $6.7 billion once the reimbursement period is over," explains Alexandre Moreau, Public Policy Analyst at the MEI and co-author of the publication.For example, Canadians could pay $2.31 for a two-litre carton of milk following liberalization, instead of the current price of $4.93, he adds.The accounting value of the quotas, estimated at $13 billion by the MEI, is on average equal to 38% of their current market value, which comes to a little over $34 billion. Compensation would vary from one farmer to another in order to avoid providing excessive compensation to farmers who bought their quotas at a fraction of the current price, or received them free of charge, while being fair to those who acquired quotas recently at a higher cost.If Ottawa decided to liberalize supply-managed sectors, a temporary tax should serve to finance the compensation paid to farmers. This tax would disappear once the compensation was paid in full."Such a policy was used successfully in Australia when that country eliminated its own supply management system," explains Vincent Geloso, Associate Researcher at the MEI and co-author of the publication. "The compensation offered to producers was financed by a transitory tax equal to half of the expected consumer price decline. Consumers were therefore immediately able to enjoy price reductions while farmers received payments to compensate them for their losses of revenue. The same principle could be applied here," he adds.Rules regarding the environment, health, and food quality would continue to apply to products imported from abroad once the market is liberalized."This exit plan would be positive and fair both for farmers and for consumers. Now, it's up to public decision-makers to take action and dismantle this regime that is unfair and costly for consumers, all while adequately compensating farmers," concludes Alexandre Moreau.The Viewpoint entitled "Ending Supply Management with a Quota Buyback" was prepared by Alexandre Moreau, Public Policy Analyst at the MEI, and Vincent Geloso, Associate Researcher at the MEI.
Last month Statistics Canada released the results of the 2016 Census of Agriculture. Like many of you, I was eager to read up on the results and discover how our industry has changed in the five years since the last survey was conducted.Some findings, such as the edging up of the average age of farm operators from 54 in 2011 to 55 in 2016, aren’t all that surprising. After all, aging is a fact of life. Other findings, however, gave me pause. For example, Statistics Canada found that even though the average age of farmers has increased, only one in 12 operations have a formal succession plan outlining how the farm will be transferred to the next generation.In other words, the vast majority of Canada’s farm operators have not taken steps to safeguard the businesses they’ve worked long and hard to build.Experts in the field agree there are many reasons farmers shy away from succession planning, including fear: fear of change, of creating conflict within the family, of losing one’s identity as a farmer, and of confronting the fact that not even the healthiest among us live forever. Then there’s the time required to craft a plan and implement it when there are still animals to feed, seeds to plant and suppliers and customers to work with, plus all the other tasks that contribute to a farm’s long-term success. Perhaps one of the most significant barriers, though, is the daunting scope of work the term “succession planning” entails.Though we can’t do that work for you, the editorial teams behind Agrobiomass, Canadian Poultry, Fruit & Vegetable, Manure Manager, Potatoes in Canada and Top Crop Manager have partnered to help ease the way with our first annual Succession Planning Week.From June 12 to 16, we’ll be delivering a daily e-newsletter straight to your inbox, packed with information and resources to help you with succession planning in your operation. Each e-newsletter will offer practical advice and suggestions you can use, whether you’re an experienced farm owner wondering if your succession plan needs some tweaking or an aspiring successor wondering how to start the succession conversation.But that’s not the only conversation we want to kick-start. Share your succession planning tips and success stories on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #AgSuccessionWeek. The best of the best will be published on our website (FamilyFarmSuccession.ca) and included in Friday’s e-newsletter.We hope Succession Planning Week offers valuable information to help you keep your operation growing, now and for generations to come.
June 9, 2017, Canada - For too long, supply management in our dairy, poultry and egg sectors has been seen as a “third rail” in Canadian politics, an untouchable sacred cow. No longer.The evidence for reform is staggering. Research and analysis conducted by a variety of experts across Canada have overwhelmingly demonstrated the inequity and inefficiency of the current system.Increasingly persuasive commentary is coming from all sides. And despite the propaganda made possible by the wealth and power of the dairy lobby, more and more politicians are seeing the public opinion tide turning.It is, after all, a non-partisan issue. Progressives who espouse social justice simply cannot defend the unnecessary costs imposed on consumers – especially low-income families with children in need of affordable essential nutrition – in favour of what is now a small group of millionaire producers. But neither can conservatives defend a regulated cartel which flies in the face of a market-based economy. And all politicians in Canada, of all stripes, know that Canada’s economy is dependent on trade. We can no longer afford to have supply management harm our leverage in our trade negotiations – particularly given what is now happening with our largest trading partner next door.It is time for our politicians to do what is right. We are past knowing “why” – now is time for “how.”How do we transition forward from supply management in a way that is fair to our dairy, poultry and egg producers, as well as to consumers and taxpayers? We know that we can. We have, after all, done this before, most notably with Canada’s wine industry – to great success. And we have other international examples from which to learn – both for what to do and what not to do.This report proposes just such a plan.More work is needed to iron out details which will require engagement by all involved. After close to 50 years, the system has become complex.The same numbers won’t apply to long-time producers as to new entrants, or to producers in different parts of the country. Some producers are ready to retire, or their farms are too small to compete – they would benefit from an appropriate buyout.For those who want to compete, grow and profit from the incredible international opportunities, additional transition assistance will be needed.The plan must address both.The only missing piece now is for our politicians to stand up, defy the power of a wealthy lobby and show the leadership Canadians expect.A big opportunity has emerged to do something that not only helps in our looming trade negotiations, but that is actually right for Canada.The future of the dairy industry is bright in Canada. Reforming supply management should not be seen as an obstacle, but rather as an opportunity to redress domestic inequities in a way that is fair to producers, grow our industry, open new markets and, most importantly – compete and win. Because we can.View PDF report: http://cwf.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/CWF_SupplyManagement_Report_JUNE2017.pdf
May 29, 2017, ST-GEORGES, Que. – Quebecers and the ''extremely strong'' lobby of the province's professional farmers' union are to blame for Maxime Bernier's defeat in the Conservative leadership race, according to an ex-mayor in Bernier's hometown in Quebec's Beauce region.Roger Carette, a Bernier supporter who served as mayor of St-Georges from 1994 to 2009, says he can't understand how Quebec let the candidate down.''It's Quebec that took him out of there,'' he said, moments after learning Bernier had lost the race to Andrew Scheer. ''If you look at the difference of one per cent of votes, that's the difference in Quebec.''According to Conservative party data, Bernier was beaten by Scheer in his home riding of Beauce, collecting 48.89 per cent of support compared to 51.11 per cent for the Saskatchewan native.With the support of farmers, Scheer campaigned in Beauce against Bernier's plan to gradually abolish supply management, the quota and price control system that ensures a stable income to dairy and poultry farmers despite market fluctuations.Bernier wanted to liberalize the system, arguing it keeps prices artificially high and limits competition. He suggested a transition period with compensation.Carette blames the ''undue intervention of the farmers' movement'' for sabotaging the campaign of ''a guy from home.''''I'm disappointed. I recognize that Quebec decided it wanted a guy from Saskatchewan to lead the party and, maybe one day, the country,'' he said.''It's a bit distressing to see we've been a part of that,'' said Carette, who believes Bernier's proposal to abolish supply management would not have passed easily and would have been the subject of vigorous debate within the party.At ''Chez Gerard'' restaurant in St-Georges, the 40 or so Bernier supporters who had gathered to watch the results were feeling the same letdown.Swear words rang out as Scheer's victory was confirmed, with many of the partisans getting up to leave soon after.A party atmosphere had reigned for much of the evening, as supporters paused between bites of sausage and breaded mozzarella sticks to express their confidence in Bernier, who they described as generous, sincere, and ''close to his people.''By the tenth tour, that confidence began to evaporate.''Maxime had a split vote in Beauce, but he had a lot of support in Alberta. It's incomprehensible,'' said Johanne Maheu, a Bernier volunteer.The Beauce riding has one of the country's largest concentrations of farmers under supply management.Several dairy farmers in the region, including Frederic Marcoux, had set out to block Bernier's campaign and damage his campaign co-president, Jacques Gourde.A Facebook page whose title translates as ''friends of supply management and the regions'' got almost 10,000 members.On Saturday, Marcoux said farmers didn't just beat Bernier – they've also made the entire political class take notice of them.''Everyone saw us, everyone heard us...everyone saw the final result,'' he said in a phone interview. ''For me, we won't see anyone attacking supply management for a damned long time.''Marcoux said it was ''easy'' to blame the professional farmers' union – the Union des Producteurs Agricoles – but believes the grumbling against Bernier was in fact more widespread.''Maxime Bernier held himself back,'' he said. ''Supply management, just in his riding is a half-billion, what did he think would happen?''
May 19, 2017, Toronto, Ont. - At its 32nd annual meeting held in Toronto May 18, 2017, the Further Poultry Processors Association of Canada (FPPAC) elected the following Board of Directors and Officers:Officers:Chairman- Blair Shier, J.D. SweidVice-Chair- Chris Hobbs, ADP Direct PoultryBoard of Directors:Betty Dikeos, D & D PoultryJamie Falcao, Maple Leaf FoodsKeith Hehn, Golden Valley FarmsIan Hesketh, Intercity PackersChris Hobbs, ADP Direct PoultryDon Kilimnik, DC FoodsEd Lamers, Tillsonburg Custom FoodsBlair Shier, J.D. SweidKevin Thompson, Sargent FarmsAppointments:CFC Rep- Ian Hesketh, Intercity PackersCFC Alternate- Don Kilimnik, DC FoodsTFC Rep- Keith Hehn, Golden Valley FarmsTFC Alternate- Tony Tavares, Exceldor FoodsTQAC Chicken Rep- Ian Hesketh, Intercity PackersTQAC Chicken Alternate- Ed Lamers, Tillsonburg FoodsTQAC Chicken Alternate- Robert de Valk, FPPACTQAC Turkey Rep- Keith Hehn, Golden Valley FarmsTQAC Turkey Alternate- Tony Tavares, Exceldor FoodsTQAC Turkey Alternate- Robert de Valk, FPPACGeneral Manager- Robert de Valk, FPPAC
May 12, 2017, Burlington, Ont. - National allocations for A-145 (Aug 6 – Sept 30) and A-146 (Oct 1 – Nov 25) are both set at +5.0% relative to adjusted bases at the Chicken Farmers of Canada (CFC) meeting on May 3, 2017 in Ottawa.Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) provided its recommendation for national allocation to CFC of +6% above adjusted base for A-145 and A-146. As in prior periods CFO’s recommendation had been framed on a public policy of “balanced best interest” and based on an analysis of the market and an assessment of the demand and supply opportunities as well as potential risks to the market. READ MORE
June 15, 2017, Vancouver, B.C. - A chicken-catching company at the centre of an animal cruelty investigation in British Columbia says it will require staff to wear body cameras after an animal advocacy group released video of alleged abuse.Dwayne Dueck, president of Elite Services in Chilliwack, says it will be mandatory for one supervisor and two staff members in each barn to wear cameras on their vests, and the video will be reviewed at the end of each day.The announcement comes after the SPCA in British Columbia launched an investigation following the release of undercover video by Mercy for Animals that shows workers allegedly hitting, kicking and throwing chickens.A statement from Elite Services says six staff members have now been fired, including two who were let go prior to the video being released, three who were fired immediately after, and one more who was terminated after the company did a ''detailed forensic review'' of the video.Investigators with the SPCA are working on a report that will be forwarded to Crown counsel and SPCA spokeswoman Marcie Moriarty says the organization will recommend multiple charges of animal cruelty under both the Criminal Code and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.The statement from Elite Services says the company hopes the ''senseless acts of violence'' in the footage will help implement new levels of animal care across the industry.The company says it is updating its standards and procedures, undertook organization-wide retraining on Wednesday, and all employees will be asked to sign documents affirming they understand the company's care and concern procedures.''It is our intent to share the experience of our new best practices with industry regulators, and adopt other best practices from cutting edge producers,'' the statement says.
June 12, 2017, Hunstville, Ala. – Aviagen, the world’s leading poultry breeding company, has added nutritionist Dr. Elisangela Glass to its Global Nutrition Team (GNT). Effective April 24, Dr. Glass joins a team of nine nutritionists on the GNT, which currently offers nutritional support to Aviagen broiler breeder customers worldwide. Dr. Glass will report directly to Alex Corzo, Aviagen’s director of Global Nutrition Services. Supporting the U.S. and Canadian markets, Dr. Glass will be located in Hunsville, Alta.Her considerable education and background will make her an invaluable nutrition resource for U.S. pedigree, great grandparent and grandparent flocks, as well as Aviagen’s U.S. and Canadian parent stock customers.Dr. Glass earned a B.S. in Animal Science from the Universidade Estadual Paulista in Sao Paulo, Brazil, as well as an M.S. and Ph.D. (2007) in Animal Science with a focus on Poultry Nutrition for the University of Missouri in the U.S.Before joining Aviagen, she worked with Cargill Animal Nutrition since 2007 in various roles such as nutrition manager for the U.S. turkey division, consulting nutritionist for global feed operations and consulting nutritionist for broiler operation in Central America.“Aviagen customers and her colleagues on the GNT will benefit from Dr. Glass’s in-depth education and experience developing nutrition strategies at a global level,” says Dr. Corzo. “I welcome Dr. Glass to the Aviagen GNT and have great confidence that she will help us continue to offer cutting-edge nutritional advice to our team and customers.”
May 25, Toronto, Ont. - Canadian based Agrisoma Biosciences Inc. signed a new partnership with the country of Uruguay introducing a new, renewable, low carbon cash-crop for farmers.The deal gives the Quebec-based company the opportunity to grow its business outside of Canada by planting thousands of new hectares of the Carinata seed in Uruguay."This is a made in Canada solution," says Steve Fabijanski, CEO of Agrisoma. "Carinata, is a new crop first developed, tested and grown in Canada and now going global, being farmed as a new second, cash-crop alternative," says Fabijanski.The partnership opens new opportunities for the Canadian agricultural sector to grow more Carinata and feed the global markets demanding a broad solution for world food security and clean energy."This partnership is a shining example of how foreign governments and Canadian business can work together to find sustainable farming solutions that address consumer's increasing demand for healthy food production and renewable energy, says Rodolfo Nin Novoa, Uruguay's Minister of Foreign Affairs.Under this new deal, both parties anticipate significant economic and rural benefits from production of Carinata in Uruguay as a non-food crop that can be made into low carbon bio and aviation fuels as well as nutritious, GMO-free animal feed.Carinata was the crop that fueled the world's first 100% bio-jet flight in Ottawa in 2013.Last month, Agrisoma's GMO-free animal feed received approval by the US Food and Drug Administration.
May 24, 2017, U.S. - Sanderson Farms CEO Joe F. Sanderson Jr. reiterated that the company has no intention of moving into the antibiotic-free chicken market.Speaking on May 17 at the BMO Capital Markets 12th Annual Farm to Market Conference, Sanderson said it is a decision supported not only by the company’s management, but its veterinarians as well.“For a lot of reasons, we didn’t think it was right for us to do antibiotic-free. Our veterinarians, half of them would leave us if we did. They’ve taken an oath,” Sanderson said.Sanderson also noted that veterinarians in general do not advocate denying sick animals antibiotics. READ MORE
May 18, 2017, Milton, Ont. - Three new members were elected to AgScape’s 2017 Board of Directors at the organization’s annual general meeting on May 3.The 12-member board directs the organization’s mandate to advance specialized agri-food education in Ontario.Jim McMillan, a farmer from Beamsville, Ont. joins the board in a community seat position.Charlotte O’Neill from Elanco Animal Health and Stephanie Szusz from TD Canada Trust both join the board in corporate seat positions.Peter Hohenadel from the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair was re-elected to the board in a corporate seat position.Returning board members who are taking on new duties include Audrie Bouwmeester and Jennifer Peart. Audrie Bouwmeester – a dairy education program manager with Dairy Farmers of Ontario – is the newly appointed acting chair and vice chair, and holds a corporate seat position.Jennifer Peart with Farm Credit Canada has been appointed acting treasurer and also holds a corporate seat on the board.AgScape’s board includes three additional community seats held by past chair Lorie Jocius, Deb Campbell of Agronomy Advantage and Natalie Walt with Ceres Global Ag Corp.Three additional corporate seats are held by Kathryn Doan of AgCareers.com, Mark Kerry with Monsanto Canada Inc. and Meaghan Ryersee from Syngenta Canada Inc.The AgScape board also includes two advisors – Catherine Mahler with the Ministry of Education and Helen Scutt with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.AgScape is a not-for-profit organization providing reliable and balanced resources to Ontario schools on agriculture, food production, environmental sustainability and related topics.AgScape, formerly OAFE, was created in 1991 with the mission of building awareness and understanding of the importance of our agriculture and food system. For more information visit www.agscape.ca.
May 17, 2017, Borden-Carleton, P.E.I. - The recipients of grants from a $2 million transition fund set up by McCain after it closed its potato processing plant in 2014 in Borden-Carleton, P.E.I., were announced Tuesday.Nine businesses and the municipal government received grants. The amounts ranged from $7,000 to $1 million. Innovation PEI established a steering committee to administer the fund and review funding applications; the committee included representatives from Innovation PEI, Borden-Carleton, the Central Development Corporation, ACOA, and McCain’s.The 10 successful applicants announced include: MacDougall Steel: $1 million. Silliker Glass: $300,000. Atlantic Beef Products: $142,000. Mrs. Dunsters: $26,000. Tree Top Haven: $25,000. Island Apple Storage: $25,000. P.E.I. Handpie Company: $7,000. Town Of Borden-Carleton: $50,000. Canadian Cold Storage: $200,000 (subject to project approval). Larkins Poultry: $225,000 (subject to project approval). Larkin Brothers plans to use the funds to establish a new poultry processing plant with the aim of increasing value added products and increased market share. READ MORE
June 14, 2017, Montague, PE - The Government of Canada is working with industry to help raise awareness, understanding and appreciation of agriculture among young Canadians. The agriculture and food sector is one of Canada's key growth industries and the opportunities for youth are endless.Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister, Lawrence MacAulay, recently announced a one-year investment of up to $567,786 for Agriculture in the Classroom Canada (AITC-C) to develop and deliver educational resources about the agriculture and agri-food sector to primary and secondary students across the country, and to promote career opportunities in the sector.This federal investment is funded through Growing Forward 2's AgriCompetitiveness Program, under the Fostering Business Development stream, which supports activities that nurture entrepreneurial capacity in the agriculture sector through the development of young and established farmers, farm safety, skills, and leadership.
June 8, 2017, Ottawa, Ont. - Canadian dairy, poultry and egg farmers teamed up to celebrate Canadian food with a unique public event on Sparks Street in downtown Ottawa on June 1. Breakfast and lunch sandwiches made with fresh, local ingredients from supply-managed farms were served to Members of Parliament, Senators, Hill staffers and the public.Farmers representing Egg Farmers of Canada, Chicken Farmers of Canada, Turkey Farmers of Canada, Canadian Hatching Egg Producers and Dairy Farmers of Canada were on-hand to share how the stability provided by supply management allows them to deliver a stable supply of superior food products as well as answering questions about farming."The celebration of Canada's 150th anniversary is a unique opportunity to remember how the system of supply management has helped farmers produce food of the highest quality for generations," said Roger Pelissero, Chairman of Egg Farmers of Canada. "The Downtown Diner is one of the many ways we can highlight the high standards we have in place on Canadian farms, and provide an opportunity to meet the very people who are dedicated to producing high-quality and wholesome food in Canada, for Canadians," adds Pelissero.More than 2,500 breakfast and lunch items were served between 7:30 A.M. and 2:00 P.M. This is the third time the event was hosted in downtown Ottawa.
May 19, 2017, Guelph, Ont. - Thought leaders from the farming and food industry will gather in Calgary September 18-20 at the second annual Canadian Centre for Food Integrity (CCFI) Public Trust Summit.Transparency in our food system is no longer optional; so farmers and ranchers through to the largest food companies need to know more on how to effectively earn public trust in our food and how it’s grown.“The CCFI Public Trust Summit is not ‘just another meeting.’ It’s an experience for you to come and learn from the entire food system,plus help shape the path forward for earning trust in Canadian food and farming,” says Crystal Mackay, Canadian Centre for Food Integrity.This year’s theme “Tackling Transparency — the Truth About Trust” kicks off with a full day of Experience Alberta farm and food tours on September 18th, capped off by an evening celebrating the “Science of the Six-Pack.”Brew masters will be on-hand to walkthrough how local barley, hops, yeast, and water combine to make pints of beer.The second day’s highlights include: Release of the 2017 CCFI public trust in food and farming consumer research World class speakers with a variety of perspectives and insights on transparency and trust A lively consumer panel of millennials sharing exactly what they think about food and farming The conference wraps up with a “Connecting with Canadians” working breakfast on September 20, where attendees will learn more about what they can do and idea swap on what’s happening in Canada to engage with consumers.The inaugural CCFI Public Trust Summit, held last June in Ottawa, sold out with an incredibly diverse representation from food companies, retail and food service, government, academia, farmers and food influencers, like bloggers and dietitians.For more information, visit: www.foodintegrity.ca
Transparency, sustainability and traceability have become basic consumer expectations, making them essential to food production, says John Scott, former president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers (CFIG).
May 4, 2017, Milton, Ont. - Farm & Food Care Ontario, Ontario Pork, Ontario Federation of Agriculture and the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario released a joint statement today in response to the dismissal of charges announced by Justice David Harris on Anita Krajnc's charge for criminal mischief related to interfering with farm animals while in transit.The Ontario farm organizations are extremely disappointed with the decision and are concerned that activists will be encouraged to engage in escalating activities that are a growing threat to animal welfare, food security and human safety.Bruce Kelly, Farm & Food Care Ontario said that "Ontario farmers work hard to ensure high standards of animal welfare and a safe and healthy food supply for Canadians. Actions by Krajnc and activists like her should not be condoned by the courts as they threaten acceptable and legal farming practices and are a threat to food safety."Eric Schwindt, board chair for Ontario Pork added, "This is frustrating for Ontario pork producers, who adhere to federal regulations and high standards of animal care, and are constantly evolving to further enhance their commitment to healthy animals and communities. Our concern in this instance was specific to the safety of food and people."Furthermore, Pat Jilesen, Director, Ontario Federation of Agriculture said, "The livestock industry abides by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's Health of Animals transport regulations. This ensures the well-being of all livestock during movement and transport. Interfering with animals during transport is simply unsafe for the animals and the people involved."Clarence Nywening, President of the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario, concluded, "This is a huge disappointment to Ontario farmers who are committed to keeping animals healthy and safe throughout their lives. Actions like this by activists are putting pigs, families, communities and livelihoods at risk."Farm & Food Care Ontario, Ontario Pork, Ontario Federation of Agriculture and Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario share a mandate to support agriculture and Ontario farmers. The four groups will meet to discuss next steps related to this issue.
No matter what size of farm or type of production, today’s farmers and ranchers are dedicated to producing safe, abundant food in a way that preserves and improves the land most of them hope to pass on to their children.
May 17, 2017, Ann Arbor, MI — Global public health organization NSF International has developed an independent certification protocol — Raised Without Antibiotics — to certify animal products have been raised without exposure to antibiotics.The new certification protocol will help identify products that do not contribute to the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.NSF International’s Raised Without Antibiotics certification can be granted to a wide variety of animal products, including meat, poultry, seafood, dairy, eggs, leather and certain supplement ingredients.The certification provides independent verification of on-package claims and is the only “raised without antibiotics” certification that covers all animal products.“A growing number of consumers are concerned about the widespread development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and the use of antibiotics in food production,” said Sarah Krol, Global Managing Director of Food Safety Product Certification, NSF International. “NSF International’s Raised Without Antibiotics certification gives consumers an easy way to identify and purchase animal products that have been raised without exposure to antibiotics, which may help alleviate their concerns.”A 2016 survey conducted for NSF International found that 59 percent of consumers prefer products from animals raised without antibiotics. But, without an independent, transparent protocol and certification process, consumers have not been able to verify claims made by marketers – until now.Betagro Group in Thailand, a large supplier of chicken to consumers in Asia and Europe, is the first company to earn NSF International’s Raised Without Antibiotics certification.NSF International developed the Raised Without Antibiotics protocol in partnership with the food animal industry and veterinary stakeholders.Under the program, animals cannot be certified if they have received antibiotics. The use of ionophore chemical coccidiostats, which are not considered contributors to antimicrobial resistance, may be permitted to prevent infections, depending on labeling regulations in the region of product sale.The program also encourages preventive measures such as vaccination, alternative treatments, litter management techniques and appropriate stocking density to maintain the health and welfare of the animals.If sick animals require antibiotics for treatment, they can receive veterinary care but must be removed from the Raised Without Antibiotics program.Learn more about NSF International’s Raised Without Antibiotics certification.Register for an informational webinar on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 from 9:30 to 10 a.m. U.S. Pacific Time.
April 25, 2017, Toronto, Ontario – A growing Muslim community in Canada has led to swelling sales of halal food, which has some grocers, manufacturers and eateries seeking ways to profit from the boom.''It's a huge business. It's an $80-billion business around the world. In Canada, it's about $1 billion and it's growing ... by 10 to 15 per cent a year, which is quite significant. It's much more than other categories,'' says Sylvain Charlebois, a professor in food distribution and policy at Dalhousie University in Halifax.Halal means permissible in Arabic and refers to foods that have been prepared according to Islamic law. Animals must not suffer when they're slaughtered and must not see another animal be killed. Pork and its byproducts and alcohol are among forbidden items not allowed in the making of halal foods.While Canadians are increasingly seeing more halal products stocked by the big supermarket chains, the complexity of the supply chain has led to concerns about mislabelled food or fraud.Contamination and traceability were motivating factors for the formation of the Halal Monitoring Authority of Canada, says chief operating officer Imam Omar Subedar.A presentation on malpractices in the halal industry he attended in 2004 was eye-opening.''What we were exposed to was really, really bad. There was just no ethics, no controls, no nothing. It was very sad.''The HMA launched in 2006 with one certified chicken product. Now there are hundreds, with 30 inspectors in Ontario, three in Alberta, two in Quebec and a representative in B.C. There are plans to start operations in Saskatchewan.The Canadian Food Inspection Agency approved guidelines for halal products just last year.''Halal unfortunately has been heavily abused and this is why CFIA has gotten involved, which is unprecedented. The government doesn't get involved in religion, but for halal they did because of the malpractices that had been going on,'' says Subedar.Salima Jivraj, an on-the-go mom who founded Halal Food Festival Toronto in 2012 and runs the website Halalfoodie.ca, says the mainstream availability of halal products now means she can avoid multiple stops at independent shops during her weekly shopping trip.''I want to go to a grocery store because I'm busy,'' she says. ''Retailers are noticing now – 'how can we hone in on this?'''Sobeys Inc. launched the store Chalo FreshCo in 2015 in Brampton, Ont., with separate halal and non-halal meat counters and an assortment of rice, spices, lentils and snacks for South Asian customers.Loblaw Companies Ltd. has launched its own halal brand, Sufra, and also sells other brands of halal chicken, beef, lamb, yogurt, turkey and gummy candies.Jivraj suggests a lot of Muslims unknowingly eat non-halal products.''Immigrants come to the country and they might not necessarily know that they have to look out for halal. Coming from countries that are 100 per cent halal, it might be a new concept for them,'' says Jivraj.Reading labels doesn't always tell the entire story. Candies, yogurt, jellies, baked goods and pharmaceutical products may contain gelatin, which can be derived from pork. Animal shortening such as lard and brewer's yeast are not halal. Vanilla extract flavouring contains alcohol.''There's going to be more and more demand being driven for things like bakeries, confectionery, dairy including cheeses because a lot of animal byproducts are found in all sorts of categories in grocery and the consumers are realizing this as well and they're being more vigilant in the products that they buy,'' says Jivraj.Meanwhile, big fast-food chains like Pizza Pizza, KFC, Popeyes and Nandos have added halal options to their menus, while The Halal Guys, a fast-casual franchise that started as a food cart in Manhattan with huge lineups, is opening a Toronto location on May 5.''If there is more food offered to consumers they will buy more essentially,'' says Charlebois of the rise in halal offerings.
March 24, 2017, Lexington, KY – ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference, being held May 21 to 24 in Lexington, Ky., is certain to inspire and motivate producers and agribusiness leaders, but more importantly, it will prepare them for the future. The three-day conference will bring together industry experts from across the globe to share insights and solutions to today’s most pressing issues within agriculture. To provide an opportunity for every corner of production agriculture to engage in disruption, ONE17 will include various tracks, including a focus session specifically dedicated to poultry production. From topics covering in ovo techniques and the use of CRISPR/Cas9 genome modification to the effects of backyard farming and consumer meat preferences, ONE17 will give poultry producers real-life solutions. “We believe it’s important for everyone involved in agriculture to be inspired to harness disruption,” said Dr. Pearse Lyons, founder and president of Alltech. “For poultry producers, however, we understand that innovation must be practical and profitable. Our poultry focus session will facilitate open discussions about what’s ahead for the poultry industry and will drive the disruptive thinking that could determine long-term success.” ONE17 poultry focus sessions include: In Ovo: Counting your chickens before they hatch? Could in ovo techniques be the next disruption in the poultry industry, and what benefits could they deliver to the consumer? Chickens by Design: What implications does CRISPR/Cas9 have for the world’s preferred protein? Slow-Grown Disruption: Is the slow-growth movement a disruption? Is it sustainable? Chickens and Eggs: Two growing markets have emerged: backyard farming and large-scale consolidation. What are the opportunities? Disruption in Washington: What can we expect from the new leadership landscape? How could the food chain and global trade be disrupted? The Biologist’s Toolbox: Precise gene editing technologies are the newest tool in the biologist’s toolbox, but are we pushing ethical limits? For more information on the ONE17 poultry focus session, visit one.alltech.com/poultry.
February 9, 2017 – The global poultry probiotics market size was estimated at over $750 million (US) in 2015 and is likely to be valued at $1.2 billion (US) by 2023, according to Global Market Insights. The global probiotic ingredients market size is likely to cross $46 billion (US) by 2020. North America, especially the U.S. probiotics market for poultry, is likely to grow at steady rates owing to increase in meat consumption, particularly chicken. Europe is also likely to grow at steady rates owing to ban on antibiotic feed supplements. Asia Pacific probiotics market is likely to grow owing to increase in awareness of benefits in meat production. Globally, antibiotics are used to prevent poultry diseases and pathogens required for improving egg and meat production. Dietary antibiotics used in poultry applications have encountered some problems such as drug residues in bird bodies, drug resistant bacteria development, and microflora imbalance. Increasing application in poultry market is likely to counter the aforementioned factors and promote demand over the forecast period. Probiotic species belonging to Bacillus, Streptococcus, Lactobacillus, Enterococcus, Bifidobacterium, Candida, Saccharomyces and Aspergillus are used in poultry applications and are expected to have beneficial effects on broiler performance. Poultry feed accounts for almost 70 per cent of the total production cost and, therefore, it is necessary to improve feed efficiency with minimum cost. In the poultry industry, chicks are subjected to microflora environment and may get infected. Broiler chickens can also succumb to stress owing to production pressure. Under such a scenario, synthetic antimicrobial agents and antibiotics are used to alleviate stress and improve feed efficiency. However, antibiotics in poultry applications are becoming undesirable owing to residues in meat products and development of antibiotic resistant properties. Europe has banned use of antibiotics as a growth-promoting agent in poultry application owing to several negative effects. These aforementioned factors are expected to drive probiotics demand in the poultry market. Antibiotics failure to treat human diseases effectively has led the European Union (EU) to ban low doses of antibiotics in animal feed. This factor has also led the U.S. government officials to restrict antibiotics use in animal feed. Poultry probiotics products are available in the form of power and liquid feed supplements. Commercial products in the market may be comprised of a single strain of bacteria or single strain of yeast or a mixture of both. Chicks/broilers/layers require a dose of around 0.5 kg per ton of feed whereas breeders require close to 1 kg per ton of feed. The global probiotics market share is fragmented with the top five companies catering to more than 35 per cent of the total demand. Major companies include Danone, Yakult, Nestle and Chr Hansen. Other prominent manufacturers include Danisco, BioGaia, Arla Foods, General Mills, Bilogics AB, DuPont, DSM and ConAgra.
Jan. 25, 2017 - 4-H Canada and Syngenta Canada are pleased to announce the national winners of the Proud to Bee a 4-H’er video contest. 4-H’ers from across Canada were asked to create a short video, either as a club or as individuals, demonstrating their pride in being a part of the 4-H program and reflecting the wide variety of Canadian 4-H clubs, projects, communities and age groups.The videos submitted during the contest entry period in November—coinciding with National 4-H Month—highlighted the common values and central experience of 4-H in building responsible, caring and contributing young leaders, and the sense of pride and accomplishment they all feel as 4-H’ers. “Congratulations to all of the winning 4-H clubs and 4-H members who did such a wonderful job of showing their enthusiasm and excitement for 4-H in their videos, making this contest a great success,” said Shannon Benner, CEO of 4-H Canada. “Thanks to Syngenta and the Proud to Bee a 4-H’er initiative, 4-H youth across Canada have had incredible opportunities to grow their knowledge of the important work of pollinators and show leadership in their communities by supporting the creation of pollinator-friendly habitats.” Approximately 3,800 votes were cast during the online public voting period. The winning entry received a GoPro HERO5 camera. The first and second runner-up entries each received an Apple iPad mini 2 and the remaining top ten entries received a selfie stick. Each of the top ten entries also received 4-H Canada branded items to continue displaying their 4-H pride in their communities. Proud to Bee a 4-H’er – Winning Video Entries 1st place - The Pas Helping Hands / 4-H Manitoba 2nd place - Aidan Tully / 4-H Manitoba 3rd place - Colton Skori / 4-H Alberta 4th place - Comox Valley 4-H Calf Club / 4-H British Columbia 5th place - Boots N Bridles 4-H Club / 4-H British Columbia 6th place - Irishtown 4-H Club / 4-H New Brunswick 7th place - Caroline Carpenter / 4-H New Brunswick 8th place - 4-W 4-H Club / 4-H Alberta 9th place - Hillmond 4-H Beef Club / 4-H Saskatchewan 10th place - Jocelyn Kerr / 4-H British Columbia This fun and engaging video contest wrapped up the third year of Proud to Bee a 4-H’er, a national initiative encouraging 4-H club members to learn about the amazing world of bees and other pollinators, which includes planting and tending pollinator-friendly gardens in their communities. Since 2014, close to 100,000 seed packets have been distributed across Canada, through the generous support of Syngenta, giving 4-H’ers and others the opportunity to create pollinator-friendly habitats and to enjoy the outdoors.“The addition of the Proud to Bee a 4-H’er video contest in 2016 was a fun and fitting way to cap off a successful year of activities that saw more than 120 4-H Canada clubs from coast-to-coast-to-coast support the important work of pollinators. The enthusiasm that 4-H’ers brought to their Proud to Bee a 4-H’er activities was on full display in their video submissions,” says Dr. Paul Hoekstra, Stewardship and Policy Manager with Syngenta Canada. Syngenta support for Proud to Bee a 4-H’er is through its Operation Pollinator program, which is focused on research and other initiatives that contribute to enhanced biodiversity and habitat in support of healthy pollinator populations. To watch the winning videos, please visit www.youtube.com/4HCanada.
Donald Shaver has been retired from poultry breeding since 1986, but this hasn’t diminished his passion for feeding a hungry world and promoting his vision for accomplishing it.Shaver recently gave a keynote presentation to the 11th International Symposium on Avian Endocrinology, held in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.Entitled “Mandating a sustainable economy before it’s too late”, the presentation dealt with a number of current issues critical to, in Shaver’s view, the future of humanity, as we know it.For sustainable development, he used the United Nations 1987 definition that it “is attained when current generations could meet their needs without undermining or destroying future generations’ chances of having their needs met”.Of course, much has changed since 1987, especially recognition of the twin challenges of climate change and the associated problem of finite water resources.“There isn’t an alternative presently known to man that will safeguard the well-being of our grandchildren, short of immediate, co-ordinated reductions in CO2 emissions to levels that will assure human survival,” Shaver said, with regard to global warming and CO2 emissions. “The economics of the so-called market place alone, will not be able to accomplish this, for it is a truly Churchillian undertaking.” The consequences of existing climate change in terms of loss of ice cover and rising sea levels, increasingly volatile weather phenomena, etc. are well known.Many of these factors are already influencing the world’s food supply. But it is not just climate change that is affecting food security. Shaver quoted Mahatma Gandhi (who died in 1948) as saying that “the earth provides enough for everyone’s needs, but not for everyone’s greed”. The West’s model for food production, Shaver stated, will fail to feed the world if adapted globally, because it destroys resources and many of the traditional farmers whose knowledge is so essential to future food security. One of the main thrusts of the presentation was the need for governments to restore the priority of food production and agriculture in the scientific world. Apart from those involved in space or defense programs, scientists’ funding is unreliable and short term. The need for worldwide food security is paramount. And the industrial systems now operating in the West are not only largely unsustainable in their present form, they are unsuited for exporting to Africa and other less-developed food systems. This is particularly so for animal systems which, except for ruminants, compete with the human population for food resources.Effects of climate changeClimate change is already reducing crop yields. Research has shown that, while corn yields in France rose by 60 per cent between 1960 and 2000 (the green revolution), they were flat for the next decade. They are predicted to fall by 12 per cent over the next twenty years. Wheat and soya yields showed a similar pattern and are expected to fall by up to 20 per cent. In the U.S. Midwest, higher temperatures are expected to lower crop yields by up to 63 per cent by the end of this century. Similar reductions may be expected in the Canadian prairies, and, as the world’s sixth largest agricultural economy, this can be predicted to significantly affect the world’s food supply.The inequity in food distribution is well known. Obesity is rampant in the West, and yet many economies are characterized by widespread malnutrition. Shaver stated, “Nor do the industrialized countries recognize that, for their own future security, they must commit to helping find an enduring solution to the chronic food shortages present in too many disadvantaged areas. Some of us are beginning to think that terrorism is not entirely based on religious differences.”Shaver also made reference to the inequalities in income and spending power between the “one per cent” and the rest of society. In the past half-century, taxation has favoured the rich in many countries, particularly the U.S. Finding workable solutions“If we are to build a more sustainable economic system, we must legislate a less reckless financial sector,” he said. “Neo-liberal capitalism may create wealth, but no attempt is made to distribute this wealth with any degree of fairness, much less honesty. We have apparently accepted a “CEO mythology” replete with excessive salary, bonuses. Even in Great Britain, CEO’s from the top 100 companies enjoyed a 10 per cent salary increase in 2015 and are now paid 129 times more than their employees. Research has shown that since 2008, 91 per cent of all financial gains in the U.S. went to the “one per cent”, and they are basically not spending the money, while many of the other 99 per cent spend all their money just to get by. This weakens demand and suppresses growth.”While admitting that Canada, on its own, can do little to alter the world’s CO2 levels, we have nothing to lose by establishing a sustainable food system. Shaver proposed the establishment of a “senior cabinet post, second only to the prime minister, responsible for sustainable economic development and the sciences. Shaver envisions that this person would firmly direct our national scientific activity with respect to sustainability, eliminating duplication and managing the function of bureaucracy in areas where it lacks expertise. Furthermore, he would require the creation of a sustainability commission, chaired by the chief scientist; a non-partisan group, with long-term goals. It would not only create plans for Canadian sustainability, but also liaise with similar bodies in other countries.Shaver sees this commission initially providing the prime minister with three 10-year plans, reviewed and if necessary updated as circumstances change. The rewards envisaged would accrue to the scientists involved with the various projects and would be a serious incentive for long-term scientific endeavour. In many cases, the challenges we face can be solved with existing knowledge. What is needed is the will to recognize and prioritize the need for action in the field of sustainability.In conclusion, Shaver said that “the future human reality will be centred less on technology and industrial might than on food and water security for all mankind. An Eastern philosopher observed that knowing the facts is easy; knowing how to act based on the facts is difficult!”
April 4, 2017, Ottawa, Ont – Chicken Farmers of Canada recently announced the outcome the 2017 election for its executive committee. The elections followed the annual general meeting and the 15-member board of directors, made up of farmers and other stakeholders from the chicken industry, has chosen the following representatives: Benoît Fontaine, chairHailing from Stanbridge Station, Quebec, Benoît Fontaine most recently served as the first vice-chair of the executive committee. He first joined the board of directors in 2013 as an alternate, and became the Quebec director in 2014. He farms in the Lac Champlain area and raises chicken and turkeys. A former high school Canadian history teacher, and second-generation chicken farmer, Benoît has also been heavily involved in the Union des producteurs agricoles since 1999. Benoît has also served on Chicken Farmers of Canada's policy committee and the production committee.Derek Janzen, first vice-chair Derek Janzen and his wife, Rhonda, have farmed in the Fraser Valley since 1998. They currently produce 1.4 million kgs of chicken annually and manage 22,000 commercial laying hens. Prior to farming, Derek worked for B.C.'s largest poultry processor for nearly nine years. He worked his way up from driving delivery truck to sales and marketing where he took the position of major accounts manager. Derek's experience in the processing industry has served him well with his board involvement. Derek has held various positions on a variety of boards including chair of the B.C. Egg Producers Association and also was appointed by the Minister of Agriculture as a member of the Farm Industry Review Board, B.C.'s supervisory board. Derek enjoys being involved in the industry and is excited to represent B.C. at the Chicken Farmers of Canada. Nick de Graaf, second vice-chairNick de Graaf is a third-generation poultry farmer in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, operating the farm founded by his Dutch grandfather in the early 1960s. Today, the farm produces more than 660,000 chickens, and 67,000 turkeys per year. Nick is also part of Innovative Poultry Group (IPG). IPG farms 55,000 broiler breeders and owns Maritime Chicks, a new, state-of-the-art hatchery employing the HatchCare system. In addition to poultry, Nick grows more than 1,600 acres of wheat, corn and soybeans. He is self-sufficient in the production of corn and soybeans for his on-farm feed mill where he processes poultry feeds for his own flocks. Nick is in his eighth year as a director with Chicken Farmers of Nova Scotia. He has participated in Chicken Farmers of Canada as an alternate director and as a member of the policy committee. Nick and his wife, Trudy, have three children and two grandchildren. Tim Klompmaker, executive member Tim Klompmaker lives in Norwood, Ontario, and was elected to the Chicken Farmers of Canada board in 2017. Tim started farming in 1984 along with his wife, Annette, and his three sons. He is a third-generation chicken farmer with the fourth-generation already in place and running chicken farms of their own. Tim served as a district committee representative for Chicken Farmers of Ontario before being elected to the Ontario board in 2000. He served as CFC alternate representative for Ontario from 2012-2013, and has represented Ontario on the CFC production committee, the AMU working committee, and at NFACC. He has also served as first vice-chair of Chicken Farmers of Ontario. The board looks forward to continuing its work together, ensuring that Canada's chicken industry continues to deliver on consumer expectations for excellence. With an eye to the future, Chicken Farmers of Canada will work with all its partners, ensuring clear, common goals for the future, and setting a solid path and purpose for all stakeholders, and for generations of chicken farmers to come. Canadians want Canadian chicken, so we deliver them fresh, locally-raised food, just the way they like it. Our farmers are a stabilizing force in rural Canada, where they can – and do – reinvest with confidence in their communities, but their contribution is much wider. In sum, we are part of Canada's economic solution, and do so without subsidies, and are very proud of both. Chicken Farmers of Canada introduced its "Raised by a Canadian Farmer" brand in 2013 to showcase the commitment of farmers to provide families with nutritious chicken raised to the highest standards of care, quality and freshness.
March 27, 2017, Ottawa, Ont – Egg Farmers of Canada is pleased to announce Roger Pelissero of Ontario as its new chairman following his election at the 44th Annual General Meeting in Ottawa. Pelissero is a third generation egg farmer from St. Ann’s, Ont. Most recently, he served on the EFC executive committee as first vice chair. He has been a member of many board appointed committees including cost of production, marketing and nutrition, and production management. Pelissero was first elected to the EFC board of directors in 2012 as the Egg Farmers of Ontario (EFO) representative. He currently serves on the EFO board of directors representing Zone 4 and is also a member of EFO’s executive committee. In addition to Pelissero’s election as chairman, the EFC board elected directors John Penner from the Northwest Territories as first vice chair, Glen Jennings of Nova Scotia as second vice chair and Emmanuel Destrijker of Quebec to the executive committee. The EFC board of directors would like to thank Peter Clarke for his many years of dedication, leadership and service as EFC chairman between 2011 and 2016. He is a well-respected member of Canada’s agriculture community and a member of the Order of Nova Scotia. He was first elected to the EFC board in 1995 representing Nova Scotia and has served on numerous committees including audit, budget, cost of production, research, production management, and executive as well as leading project teams which made progressive changes to the egg industry in Canada and abroad.
March 20, 2017, Ottawa, Ont – Chicken Farmers of Canada's (CFC) commitment to animal care has been confirmed with the completion of a comprehensive third-party audit. "The national Animal Care Program has been implemented effectively and maintained on an on-going basis,” stated NSF International in its report. “Animal care measures have been consistently applied." Under CFC's Animal Care Program, audits are conducted annually on all Canadian chicken farms. It is a mandatory program with enforcement measures for issues of non-compliance and the program guarantees one national standard for consistency of requirements and recordkeeping on all chicken farms in Canada. CFC has been administering a national Animal Care Program on all 2,800 broiler chicken farms across Canada since 2009. Since 2016, the implementation of the program by farmers and the effectiveness of CFC's audit team are subject to an annual third-party audit. NSF performs the third-party audits using PAACO (Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization) certified auditors to ensure the effective and consistent implementation of the CFC Animal Care Program. NSF is an internationally recognized, third-party certification body, accredited by the American National Standards Institute to ISO 17065. Their auditors are professionals with years of experience performing animal care and food safety audits for the agricultural sector. Third-party audits were conducted in all provinces and more than 90 per cent of CFC's on-farm auditors were evaluated. The program has credible, science-based foundations in that it is based on the Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Hatching Eggs, Breeders, Chickens and Turkeys, as developed by the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC). NFACC is a leader in bringing together stakeholders with different perspectives – farmers, veterinarians, processors, transporters, animal welfare associations, and provincial/federal governments – to develop robust and sound codes of practice. NFACC's code development process begins with a full scientific review, which is used to draft the code that then undergoes a public consultation process. In this way, all Canadians have an opportunity to contribute to the final code. With the code of practice for chicken recently finalized in 2016, CFC has begun implementing the new requirements and is in the process of updating the Animal Care Program by engaging a group of competent experts using NFACC's Animal Care Assessment Framework. Looking forward, CFC will continue funding animal care research as a priority area – to enhance future versions of the code of practice and farm management practices. In addition, CFC is petitioning the federal government to implement a recognition protocol for animal care in Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's next Agricultural Policy Framework, similar to the successful on-farm food safety recognition protocol. Such a recognition system would leverage the work performed by NFACC and organizations such as CFC that are implementing one auditable, mandatory standard to effectively demonstrate the level of animal care on Canadian farms.
September 1, 2016- This September marks the first annual National Chicken Month in Canada. All month long, Canadians from coast to coast will be celebrating their favourite protein – and the hard-working Canadian chicken farm families that raise it. It's no surprise that Canadians love chicken. Not only is it great for your health – with a great mix of lean protein and healthy fats – it's delicious, versatile, and raised to the highest standards: yours. But chicken is good for our country's health, too. Chicken in Canada is produced under a system called supply management. Under this system, farmers meet often to determine how much chicken consumers in Canada are asking for – and carefully match their production to meet that demand. Because of this system, consumers and farmers both win: consumers are guaranteed access to their favourite healthy protein, which continues to be the least expensive compared to other meats, and farmers are able to reinvest in their communities with confidence. "Celebrating National Chicken Month is just one way to celebrate the great chicken that we have been providing to Canadians for decades," said Dave Janzen, Chair of Chicken Farmers of Canada. "Canadians care deeply about their food, about knowing where it comes from and that what they're serving to their family and friends is of the highest quality; our farmers and their families are no different." With chicken being raised year-round from coast to coast, in every province, Canadians are assured a steady supply of fresh, high-quality chicken. Aside from quality and freshness that is among the best in the world, Canadian chicken farming represents: Food Safety You Can Count On: Chicken Farmers of Canada is the first national organization to achieve full federal, provincial and territorial government recognition for our On-Farm Food Safety Assurance Program (OFFSAP). An Agriculture Success Story That Doesn't Need Handouts: Canada'schicken farmers contribute $5.9 billion to Canada's GDP, paying out $2 billion in taxes, funding critical infrastructure and services. Chicken farmers also sustain 78,200 jobs throughout the entire chicken supply chain. High Animal Care Standards: Canadians expect that farm animals in their country are raised to stringent standards. Canada's chicken farmers work every day to meet this demand with a national, credible, mandatory, and audited Animal Care Program. To celebrate Canadian chicken, and Canada's 2,800 family chicken farms, to enter one of the contests or to find out more about National Chicken Month activities happening throughout the month near you, visit www.chickenfarmers.ca for more information.
May 24, 2016 - At its 31st annual meeting held in Toronto last week, the Further Poultry Processors Association of Canada (FPPAC) elected the following Board of Directors and Officers: Chairman Blair Shier, J.D. Sweid Vice-Chair Ian Hesketh, Intercity Packers Secretary-Treasurer Jamie Falcao, Maple Leaf Foods Board of Directors: Blair Shier J.D. Sweid Don Kilimnik DC Foods Ian Hesketh Intercity Packers Jamie Falcao Maple Leaf Foods Mike Haworth Maple Lodge Farms Kevin Thompson Sargent Farms Betty Dikeos D & D Poultry Yvan Brodeur Olymel Paul Murphy Maxi Canada Appointments CFC Rep: Ian Hesketh, Intercity Packers CFC Alternate: Don Kilimnik, DC Foods TFC Rep/TMAC/Supply Policy: Keith Hehn, Golden Valley Farms TFC Alternate: Ed Miner, Zadi Foods TQAC Chicken Rep Ian Hesketh, Intercity Packers TQAC Alternate Ed Lamers, Tillsonburg Foods TQAC Turkey Robert de Valk, FPPAC General Manager
March 23, 2016 - Organizing an inaugural event is never easy, but in B.C., the organizers of the first B.C. Poultry Conference seemed to have pulled off a seamless event with four AGMs, 18 breakout sessions, two lunch keynote speakers, three networking receptions and a gala dinner. By having BC Egg Marketing Board, BC Chicken Growers Association, BC Hatching Egg Producers Association and BC Turkey Association AGMs in one place, diversified poultry farmers who normally had to juggle different AGMs could now attend all meetings at one place over two days. Other industry partners and government officials were very pleased with how easy they could now schedule all four AGMs into their calendars. The first BC Poultry Conference, held at the classic Westin Bayshore Hotel on Vancouver’s waterfront March 9-11, 2016 had 541 total registrants for the AGM’s, including over 200 BC poultry farmers, 70 sponsors and exhibitors and 30 out of province industry guests. “Our long term objective of this conference is to build a cohesive, profitable growing poultry industry that meets the needs of consumers while being socially and environmentally responsible,” states Dale Krahn, Chair, BC Poultry Conference. “When we have many stakeholders in one place we experience opportunities to network with each other and join forces to make our industry better.” The attendance and support for the conference, was much greater than organizers expected. "Our gala sold out early at 400 registered people and to accommodate the additional registrants for the AGM's and breakout sessions, our room blocks had to be expanded to neighbouring hotels." states Krahn. “With a successful first year we are in a position to plan for an even bigger, better conference in 2017.” Conference sponsors came from all segments of the poultry supply chain – farm equipment suppliers, feed companies, bankers, insurance and other service providers, processors, food retailers, restaurants and more. These sponsors played a huge role in helping to make this conference a success, according to organizers, because the sponsorship money helps to minimize costs for farmers. Eight expert breakout speakers covered a range of topics relevant to current industry issues such as biosecurity, animal welfare, avian influenza, water quality, market trends and raising poultry without antibiotics. On Thursday, Dr. Art Hister gave conference delegates a humorous lunch time key note on healthy living. On Friday, Astronaut Dr. Robert Thirsk inspired delegates to think about how scientific research in space affects our everyday life. The public outreach event on Friday morning brought about 22 farmers gearing up early in the morning to hand out 300 Triple O’s sunny starts outside the hotel. Farmers showed tremendous enthusiasm for engaging with the public and telling their story. In addition to handing out the famous breakfast sandwiches, farmers also handed out over 100 copies of the “Real Dirt on Farming”, a magazine that dispels common myths about agriculture in Canada.
June 22, U.S. – Tyson Foods Inc. will test a new way to render chickens unconscious before slaughter, the company said, in the latest sign that heightened concerns about animal welfare are affecting U.S. meat processors.Within the next year, Tyson, the biggest U.S. chicken company, will launch a pilot program at two processing plants to use gas instead of electricity to stun birds before they are killed.Poultry companies render birds unconscious prior to slaughter so they do not feel pain and have increasingly explored gas as a potentially more humane option. Consumers and some restaurants have also called for more humane practices.Tyson's program "is a very significant step forward for us in understanding if this is scalable," Justin Whitmore, chief sustainability officer, said in an interview.The project is part of a broader shift in production practices in the U.S. poultry industry, in which companies have also backed away from antibiotics due to health concerns. Such changes generally increase production costs.Tyson also announced a new video monitoring system to ensure live chickens are handled properly, after saying last year that it had not done enough to stop the mistreatment of animals.Whitmore declined to discuss costs of Tyson's gas stunning project.In January, U.S. chicken processor Pilgrim's Pride Corp touted GNP Company's use of gas stunning when it paid $350 million to buy the smaller rival.In GNP's system, birds were lowered into a sealed tunnel in specially designed modules where the amount of carbon dioxide gradually rose to 70 percent from 5 percent, according to the company. In minutes, the birds passed out as carbon dioxide displaced oxygen in the air.With gas stunning, chickens are unconscious when they are shackled for slaughter. Some companies view this as more humane than stunning them afterward with electricity.Perdue Farms, another rival, is retrofitting a Delaware plant to stun chickens with gas, instead of electricity, and expects it to be operational by year's end, spokeswoman Andrea Staub said. The company has a goal to eventually use the method at all processing facilities.Panera Bread Co, food service company Sodexo and Hormel Foods Corp's Applegate brand have each said they want to buy chicken from U.S. birds rendered unconscious by a multi-step gas stunning process by 2024.McDonald's Corp is evaluating the method, spokeswoman Becca Hary said, after failing in 2009 to find conclusive evidence that it was better for birds.
May 26, 2017, San Diego, Cali. - PURE Bioscience, Inc., creator of the patented non-toxic silver dihydrogen citrate antimicrobial, announced that the company has received final acknowledgement from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that its Food Contact Notification (FCN) for use of PURE Control® in raw poultry processing to reduce pathogens became effective last week.FDA approved PURE Control antimicrobial is applied directly onto raw poultry carcasses, parts and organs as a spray or dip during processing to eliminate pathogens causing foodborne illness, including Salmonella.PURE is not aware of any equally effective, lower toxicity solution to eliminate Salmonella in poultry processing – and believes PURE Control is the breakthrough solution the poultry industry has been seeking.SDC is distinguished by the fact that it is both more effective and non-toxic. Currently used poultry processing intervention chemistries, most notably Peracetic acid (or PAA), are highly toxic, irritants to users, negatively impact the environment, are corrosive to equipment, and have a negative yield impact.The FCN for PURE Control will be added to the list of effective notifications for FCNs, which is available on the FDA website: http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/PackagingFCS/Notifications/default.htm.As previously announced on April 27, 2017, the FDA had completed its review of the safety and efficacy of the proposed use of SDC in concentrations up to 160 PPM as a raw poultry processing aid, and set an effective date of May 18, 2017.PURE will be initiating an in-plant raw poultry processing trial in which SDC-based PURE Control will be spray applied to whole chicken carcasses during Online Reprocessing (OLR).The USDA has already approved PURE Control for use in pre-OLR and post chill poultry processing. This trial is now expected to be completed by early calendar Q3. PURE has just received the necessary scheduling clearances from the plant and the local FSIS inspector. The trial will be conducted following the protocol proposed by PURE and approved by the USDA-FSIS, and will be monitored by FSIS inspection personnel in the plant. Assuming a successful plant trial, and that no additional trials are required by the USDA, PURE anticipates that the USDA-FSIS will issue a “Letter of No Objection” in approximately 4-6 weeks after completion of the trial, stating that PURE Control is approved for use in OLR applications and list SDC as an approved poultry processing aid in Attachment 1 of the FSIS Directive 7120.1 Table 3. Upon receipt of the “Letter of No Objection,” PURE can immediately commercialize PURE Control for OLR applications and begin to market PURE Control as a superior raw poultry processing aid into the +$350M U.S. market.
April 18, 2017, Peterborough, Ont. – The government of Ontario has announced plans to grow opportunities for local poultry through the Greenbelt Fund. The Greenbelt Fund will support 24 new projects across Ontario, totalling over $830,000 in new investments through the province's Local Food Investment Fund program. One of the 24 projects is the Reiche Meat Products Ltd., which will see $14,550 put towards establishing a poultry processing facility in Renfrew County. The availability of an abattoir in Renfrew County will allow existing small-scale poultry farms to scale up and meet growing demand for local poultry at farmers' markets and in stores. The project is expected to increase local food sales by $100,000 and bring 20 new farmers to market. Since 2010, the Greenbelt Fund has seen a 13:1 return on its investment in local food projects. READ MORE Other projects include:Poechman Family Farms Microgreens for Pastured Eggs ($38,100) Poechman Family Farms will invest in significant changes to its barn to improve quality of life for its hens as well as quality and flavour of its eggs, meeting consumer demand for humane eggs. The project will involve the introduction of a new perch for the hens, and specially grown greenhouse microgreens for the hens' diet. The pilot will allow Poechman Family Farms to share learnings with other egg farmers in the Organic Meadows Co-Operative and the Yorkshire Valley Farms distribution family. National Farmers Union – Ontario Building a Network of Local Food Advocates ($32,675) The National Farmers Union – Ontario will enhance local food literacy across the province by building a network of local food advocates across a number of sectors, including educators, healthcare providers, faith communities, artists, academics, outdoors professionals, and youth. The NFU will create tailored local food information material for the different advocates and create a directory of local food advocates. Victorian Order of Nurses – Windsor Essex Promoting Local Food Literacy & Increasing Local Food Consumption in Southwestern Ontario Schools ($18,988) The Victorian Order of Nurses delivers school breakfast and snack programs that feed over 100,000 students every year. This project will develop local food literacy awareness materials for students and parents, to accompany increased local food served through these programs. Bayfield Berry Farm Increasing Processing of Ontario Fruit Juices, Cider, Preserves & Fruit Liqueurs ($37,250) Bayfield Berry Farm will expand their on-farm processing facility to meet growing demand for fruit juices, ciders, preserves and fruit liqueurs. The expansion will allow Bayfield Berry Farm to develop packaging and labelling, including requisite nutritional information, to sell their products to wholesale and retail markets, in addition to their on-farm shop. The project is expected to increase sales by up to 50% in their first year. Cauldron Kitchen Inc. Local Food Entrepreneurship Program ($5,000) Cauldron Kitchen will launch a Local Food Entrepreneurship Program for 4-8 participants to build the skills to create a viable local food business. Participants will have access to business development classes, mentoring and commercial kitchen use. Cohn Farms Processing and Distribution Hub ($72,500) Cohn Farms will be scaling up capacity at its processing and distribution hub to meet growing demand for local food, which is outpacing supply. The project is expected to double the number of farms supplying Cohn Farms to 25-30, create over 15 full-time equivalent jobs, and increase sales of local food by over $4m per year. Deep Roots Food Hub Grow West Carleton – Food Hub ($48,500) Deep Roots Food Hub will increase access to local produce by investing in a new co-packing approach for its roots cellar, providing storage, distribution and marketing opportunities to area farmers. In addition, the project will expand the Good Food Box program and include an "Eat West Carleton" promotional campaign.Earth Fresh Farms Increasing Access for Ontario's New Innovative White Potato ($42,900) Earth Fresh Farms will work with 9 Ontario growers to grow premium Polar White potatoes and extend the season for Ontario white potatoes. The project is expected to increase the market for Polar White, Ontario potatoes significantly, with increased sales of well over $1m a year. Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario Supporting Local Food Market Access for Ecological Growers Across Ontario ($14,475) The Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario will increase market access for small to mid-scale ecological producers by providing specialized training through workshops and farm tours, including selling to new markets (eg. Food hubs, retail, wholesale, farmers markets), on-farm value-added opportunities, and new and emerging markets (eg. World crops, heritage grains, ecological fruit). Farmersville Community Abattoir Farmersville Community Abattoir – Processing Equipment ($30,141) Farmersville Community Abattoir is a new, not-for-profit initiative to establish a community-owned abattoir to meet the needs of the farming communities in Leeds and Grenville, Frontenac, Lanark and Ottawa-Carleton. By establishing a community-owned facility, Farmersville Community Abattoir will help ensure the long-term viability of the agricultural system in Eastern Ontario for 1,300 farmers in the region and increase local food sales by $240,000. Farms at Work – Tides Canada Initiatives Expanding Impact and Sustainability of Local Food Month in Peterborough ($15,000) Farms at Work will expand the impact and improve the sustainability of Peterborough Local Food Month, by working in partnership with Transition Town Peterborough to facilitate local food-related workshops, events and tours throughout September and culminating in the Purple Onion Festival. Flanagan Foodservice Homegrown – Local Food Project ($42,840) Flanagan Foodservice is Canada's largest family-owned foodservice distributor and will increase sales of Ontario foods by increasing its local food offerings, improving traceability, and investing in a promotional campaign to improve awareness of Ontario food available to its customers. The project is expected to increase local food sales by $1 million in 2017.Greenhouses Canada Northern Ontario Mobile Growing Facility ($52,283) Greenhouses Canada will purchase a mobile "grow truck" to serve as an indoor demonstration and training site, and allow for transportation of fresh produce to remote northern communities (including on seasonal ice roads). The project is expected to increase local food sales by $117,000. Halton Healthcare Good For You, Locally Grown – Phase 2 ($51,500) Halton Healthcare will build on the progress made to increase local food served in its hospitals by working with farmers, manufacturers and other industry colleagues to develop recipes using Ontario food that meet the nutritional needs of patients. The project will also establish branding to identify local food choices to patients, as well as a marketing campaign to promote the local food offerings at Halton Healthcare facilities. Len & Patti's Butcher Block Improved Production Efficiency to Increase Ontario Raised Pork, Beef, Lamb, Elk & Goat ($46,438) To meet growing demand for Ontario raised meats, Len & Patti's Butcher Block will invest in modernized machinery to increase production capacity. The project will include a new smoke house, tumbler, sausage stuffer, and patty machine. The increase in production capacity is expected to increase the sale of local meat by $2.5 million by the end of 2017.Local Line Inc. Local Line Food Hub Project ($28,316) Local Line will build custom local food hub software for Ontario food hubs, based on a market assessment of the needs of Ontario's existing food hubs. The platform will leverage existing Local Line marketplace and reporting software to create easy-to-use software for new and established local food hubs. Munye Kitchens Increasing Local Food Outreach – Multi-Ethnic African Communities & Beyond ($23,495) Munye Kitchens will create a local food guide for multi-ethnic African communities to increase awareness of locally-grown foods relevant to the African communities and identify where Ontario-grown produce can be purchased. The project will also educate consumers on how to use African crops like okra and callaloo, grown in Ontario and the Greenbelt. Muskoka Foundry Market Assessment for the Development of a Local Food Hub ($30,000) Muskoka Foundry will establish a new aggregated local food hub in Northern Ontario in Bracebridge's historic Foundry building. The space will include 10 permanent retail spots for agri-food processors, and provide mentorship opportunities for new processors and producers through an additional 10-15 temporary vendor stalls. The project is expected to increase local food sales by $1.5m per year. Neyaashiing Smoked Fish Increasing Access for Local Neyaashiing Smoked Fish Products ($13,250) Neyaashiing Smoked Fish will invest in upgrades to its smoking facility to improve food preparation, food safety and production output. This will allow Neyaashiing Smoked Fish to increase access to new markets for smoked fish sourced and processed in First Nations communities, both through retail and wholesale market channels. Select Food Products Implementation of New Cooking Line to Increase Production Capabilities and Access the Ontario Market ($75,000) Select Food Products has made a significant investment in a new cooking and production line in order to deliver a made-in-Ontario with Ontario ingredients French's Ketchup. The project will nearly triple production capacity for Select and help French's to execute on its commitment to make and source ketchup in Canada. Wendy's Mobile Market Season-Extension, Value-Adding Processing and Services ($71,538) Wendy's Mobile Market will retrofit a cow barn into a local food processing and storage facility to offer season-extending and value-added processing to local farmers. The facility will create new processed products including jams, jellies, preserves, dried fruit, and frozen entrees. West Niagara Agricultural Society Niagara 4-H Local Food Booth ($14,463) West Niagara Agricultural Society will partner with Niagara 4-H to purchase a road-worthy trailer for the volunteers of the 4-H club to bring to food and agricultural events throughout the region. The trailer will allow the 4-H to introduce their local food products to urban and near-urban students who might not otherwise be exposed to local food offerings. Wickens Lake Sunshine Greenhouse Retrofit Extension – Northern Ontario ($9,942) Wickens Lake Sunshine will invest in a retrofit and extension of its existing hydroponics greenhouse to extend the farms' growing season and increase capacity. Once the upgrades are complete, Wickens Lake Sunshine will partner with Open Roads Public School and the Cloverbelt Local Food Co-Op to supply produce for the school's salad bar program, bringing more local, nutritious food to students.
June 23, 2016 - The federal government is freezing the 20 per cent cap on the number of low-wage temporary foreign workers a company can hire. Labour Minister MaryAnn Mihychuk said the controversial temporary foreign worker program needs an overhaul and will announce her planfor more changes later this year. But for now, the cap, which was set to go down to 10 per cent beginning July 1, will instead stay where it is. “I believe this is a prudent step to take as we work to develop a better temporary foreign worker policy and fix some of the problems with the program that emerged under the previous government,'' Mihychuk said in a statement Thursday. The previous Conservative government started phasing in a cap on low-wage temporary foreign workers _ low-skilled employees paid less than the provincial or territorial median hourly wage - in June 2014, as part of reforms that also included disallowing use of the program in regions of Canada with high unemployment rates. Those changes followed a series of controversies dogging the program, including reports of fast-food franchise restaurants favouring temporary foreign workers over local employees. Employers who first began hiring low-wage temporary foreign workers before the cap came into effect will still be able to use it for 20 per cent of their workforce. Those who started using the program after that point, or who are hiring temporary foreign workers for the first time, are subject to a 10-per-cent cap. All the other program requirements - including having employers ensuring that Canadians and permanent residents have the first opportunities to apply for available jobs - will remain in place while the cap is frozen. Ron Davidson of the Canadian Meat Council says meat-processing plants that have been dealing with severe labour shortages will welcome the relief, even if it does not solve all their problems. “Everything helps. This does not solve the problem, but it all helps,'' Davidson said. The Liberal government already quietly suspended the cap on low-wage temporary foreign workers for seasonal employers earlier this year. Seafood processors have said that 180-day exemption will help them get through labour shortages in their busiest time of the year. A memo obtained by The Canadian Press through the Access to Information Act suggests Employment and Social Development Canada believes lifting the cap would likely create more problems than it would solve. The Jan. 6 memo, prepared for Mihychuk ahead of a meeting with a Manitoba pork processing plant, outlined some of the concerns the minister could expect the company to raise, including the cap on low-wage foreign workers. “Employers in this sector contend that the cap on low-wage temporary foreign workers prevents processing plants from meeting labour needs,'' says the memo. “The industry is particularly concerned with its ability to operate with the decrease of the cap to 10 per cent as of July 2016.'' The memo also says the government had already brought in administrative changes that allow temporary foreign workers who have been nominated for permanent residency to be excluded from the cap, so that employers can count them as Canadians instead. The memo also recommended Mihychuk encourage the company to move away from temporary foreign workers - using it only as a last resort - rather than focus on more changes to the program. “The labour needs of the pork industry are year-round, therefore a long-term solution of hiring more Canadians and/or permanent residents rather than relying on temporary foreign workers is desirable,'' says the memo. The House of Commons standing committee on human resources studies potential reforms to the program this spring, but will not release its report until after MPs return to Parliament Hill in September. News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. 2016
May 9, 2016 - Olymel is actively pursuing development of its operations in the poultry sector with the announcement of a $10 million investment in the expansion of its primary poultry processing plant at St-Damase in the Montérégie for the installation of an air chilling room. The Olymel facility in St-Damase, which specializes in chicken slaughtering and butchering, will soon have additional production capacity, enabling it to better serve its clientele, including the rotisserie sector and the retail distribution sector. The plant will enjoy more flexibility, since it will acquire a chicken air chilling system while retaining the current water cooling process. This new production component at the St. Damase facility is expected to create ten new jobs. "This major investment in our St-Damase plant reflects the dynamism of the poultry sector. Olymel will soon be announcing another major investment at its Brampton, Ontario poultry further processing facility. Our company is equipping itself to better meet demand from its customers by boosting its production capacity, which also benefits the entire poultry sector in Quebec. In terms of volume, Olymel is now the number one poultry processing company in Canada. This new investment in St-Damase and projects elsewhere in the poultry sector, both completed and planned, will also help to consolidate our presence on the markets, while generating important spinoffs for poultry producers," noted Olymel L.P. President and CEO Réjean Nadeau. The expansion work, which will begin around May 15, will add 15,000 square feet to the rue Principale plant in St. Damase, bringing its total area to over 95,000 square feet. It will be remembered that after a major fire, the plant was completely rebuilt in 1997. The facility employs more than 350 employees on two shifts. In addition to serving private customers with fresh products and various cuts of poultry, the St-Damase plant also supplies Olymel further processing plants, including the plant in nearby Ste-Rosalie. The expansion should be completed in September, and will not affect the normal conduct of the plant's operations. This investment by Olymel in the poultry sector is in addition to a $10 million investment the firm made in the poultry further processing plant at Ste-Rosalie, Montérégie, in 2015. With that investment, Olymel added a third cooking line, which increased the volume of cooked chicken products manufactured there by 40%. Through these investments, Olymel is intensifying its initiatives to add value to house brands such as Olymel and Flamingo, and has also increased its production capacity, making it better able to serve private labels.
April 19, 2016 - Lilydale is currently implementing a number of changes to appease nearby residents in it's Calgary chicken poultry processing plant, located in the inner-city neighbourhood of Ramsay. The changes include building a sound barrier and spraying the property with an industrial deodorizer. READ MORE
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