Business & Policy
Canada has fired the starting gun on the race to ratify the new North American free-trade pact – but the United States is setting the pace.
Global Affairs Canada has launched public consultations on how it allocates and administers tariff rate quotas for a number of supply-managed poultry and dairy products.
Chicken, turkey and egg producers say a big hit is coming and the federal government needs to help them adapt.
The Trudeau government is promising billions of dollars to compensate dairy, egg and poultry farmers hurt by Canada's recent free-trade agreements – industries concentrated in vote-rich Quebec and Ontario.The $3.65 billion the government is setting aside includes $2.15 billion to help farmers who lose income because of trade deals with Europe and countries on the Pacific Rim, both of which make it easier for foreign egg, dairy and poultry producers to enter the Canadian market.That is in addition to a $250-million, five-year fund established in 2016 to compensate dairy farmers for the European Union deal.The budget earmarks $1.5 billion for farmers who lose money when they sell their production rights in the supply-management system, which limits egg, poultry and dairy production in Canada. To gain the right to sell supply-managed products, farmers have to buy ''quota,'' often from existing producers who want to leave the industry.The system also limits foreign products by slapping steep tariffs on imports beyond a certain level, which raises their price at the grocery store and makes them less attractive to consumers. Allowing more foreign-produced food into the Canadian market will increase competition for products from Canadian farmers.''To ensure that Canada's dairy, poultry and egg farmers can continue to provide Canadians with high-quality products in a world of freer trade, we will make available an income protection program for supply-managed farmers, along with a measure to protect the value of quota investments these farmers have already made,'' Finance Minister Bill Morneau said in his prepared budget speech.The budget does not provide details on how or when the money will be distributed to farmers and producers, who have long railed against any move that would expand foreign involvement in those sectors.But the government appears to be hoping the promise of compensation will provide a salve to supply-managed farmers, many of whom are clumped in key ridings in Quebec and Ontario and angry that the deals have weakened their grip on the market.That could prove important for the Liberals, who will likely need a strong showing in the two provinces in this year's federal election to have a hope of retaining power.The budget also indicates more money could be forthcoming as the government works with industry ''to address the impacts on processing, as well as potential future impacts of the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement.''''The federal government recognizes the impact of trade agreements on our sector and is following through on its commitment to support our domestic dairy industry,'' said Pierre Lampron, president of the board of directors for the Dairy Farmers of Canada.''We also welcome the government's commitment to continue the dialogue on the future impact of CUSMA on our sector.''The North American deal, which will succeed NAFTA, has yet to be ratified and come into effect. That deal is the third free-trade agreement in which Canada agreed to open its supply-managed sectors, which emerged last year as a favourite target of U.S. President Donald Trump, particularly the dairy sector.Supply management has long been hotly debated in Canada.Proponents say the system keeps the market from getting saturated, which keeps prices stable and ensures steady incomes for farmers while protecting food safety, ensuring higher-quality products and eliminating the need for direct subsidies.Critics say it drives up the cost of dairy, eggs and chicken for consumers, which has a disproportionate impact on low-income families. The system has been a frequent target in – and barrier to – past free-trade negotiations.Successive federal governments for decades nonetheless resisted opening Canada to more tariff-free imports from other countries, in part because of the political implications.But when Stephen Harper was prime minister, the Conservatives opened the door to change when they agreed to ease restrictions on European cheese imports through the Canada-European Union trade deal, which was signed and came into force under the Trudeau Liberals.Ottawa then agreed, in the 11-country Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, to give participants more access to Canada's dairy, egg and poultry markets.
The federal government says it plans to spend $1.75 billion by March without having said what the money is for, though at least some of the cash is likely to go to farmers hurt by new trade deals.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau isn't ruling out the possibility that Canada will ratify its new North American trade deal with the United States and Mexico even if U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum exports are still in place.
Small poultry flocks are growing in popularity in Ontario. Many small flock owners have launched into raising their own meat and eggs without any previous farming skills or husbandry knowledge in how to best look after the birds in their care.
Happy New Year! As you’ll read in the pages ahead, we’re ringing in 2019 with an eye towards the future. This issue is focused on the research and innovations that will help shape the industry in the coming years.
The International Egg Commission and its members support, and will promote, the responsible use of all antimicrobials to allow for the long-term safe production of eggs, safeguarding the availability of eggs and egg products for the world’s consumers.
Growing interest in the concept and practice of sustainable sourcing is redefining relationships and expectations in the agri-food landscape. Sustainable sourcing, simply put, refers to procurement of goods or services subject to their meeting a specified set of socio-economic, animal welfare and environmental sustainability criteria.
Canadian farmers are leaders in producing safe, high-quality agricultural and food products for Canadians and people around the world. The sector is a major driver in creating good, middle-class jobs, and is one of Canada's key growth industries.
I had the privilege of visiting numerous barns this summer, and lugged my video equipment with me to document my travels. I met many passionate farmers doing innovative things. People like Ryan Kuntze, a Stratford, Ont.-based broiler producer and self-described peat moss guinea pig.
NSF International, a global public health and safety organization known for food safety and quality, launched new Global Animal Wellness Standards to address the full lifecycle of all key species and establish best practices for how animals are kept, raised and responsibly managed. The standards are the first of their kind in establishing a universal approach to animal health and wellness.
Canadian Bio-Systems Inc. (CBS Inc.) has launched the main phase rollout of its new Feed Science Platforms, offering a comprehensive portfolio of advanced bio-based feed technology solutions to benefit swine, poultry, aquaculture and ruminant production.
At a time when the North American feed industry is undergoing a dramatic transformation driven by new rules, heightened market expectations and groundbreaking technology advances, a growing number of major farming operations are opting to take charge of their futures by embracing a stronger direct role in feed production and feed additive innovation.
As Costco is set to be the first U.S. retailer to integrate its meat supply to the farm level, a new report from CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division predicts that other food retailers and foodservice companies may be prompted to reevaluate their own supply chain integration opportunities.
La Coop fédérée, an agri-food cooperative with operations across Canada, and W-S Feed & Supplies Limited, recently announced that La Coop fédérée will purchase a 50 per cent stake in the animal nutrition company based in Tavistock, Ont.
For Aviagen, advancing industry research and training the next generation of industry professionals are core values, and the company continually seeks out opportunities to support these priorities.
With farms, woods, wildlife and fresh air, rural residents cherish the charm and beauty of the countryside. Many people move from cities seeking peace and a pristine environment in the country.Most people understand that a rural community includes farmers and that farming is a business. Ontario’s agriculture and food sector employs 760,000 people and contributes more than $35 billion to the province’s economy every year. This means that certain activities take place according to a production schedule; and some affect residents living close to farms. In almost all cases, farmers and their rural neighbours get along well together. However, there are some exceptions.For the year of 2015- 2016 the ministry received 107 complaints related to farm practices. Of these, 45 (40 per cent) were about odour, while the others were mainly about noise (26 per cent), flies (19 per cent) and municipal by-laws (nine per cent).Odour complaints are generally related to: Farmers spreading manure on fields Fans ventilating livestock barns Manure piles Mushroom farms To manage conflict about farm practices, the Ontario government enacted the Farming and Food Production Protection Act (FFPPA). This act establishes the Normal Farm Practices Protection Board (NFPPB) to determine “normal farm practices”. When a person complains about odour or other nuisance from a particular farming practice, the board has the authority to hear the case and decide whether the practice is a “normal farm practice”. If it is, the farmer is protected from any legal action regarding that practice.When people make complaints about farm practices, a regional agricultural engineer or environmental specialist from OMAFRA’s Environmental Management Branch works with all parties involved to resolve the conflict. The board requires that any complaint go through this conflict resolution process before it comes to a hearing.Each year, through the conflict resolution process, OMAFRA staff have resolved the vast majority of complaints. In 2015-16, only twelve of the 107 cases resulted in hearings before the board. Of these, only two were odour cases involving multiple nuisances such as noise, dust and flies. Thus, while odours remain the biggest cause of complaints about farm practices, OMAFRA staff working through the conflict resolution process has proved very effective in dealing with them.
I first heard the word ‘sustainable’ in university many moons ago. It seemed academic, and the right thing to do as we studied agriculture and how to feed the world in the future. Then I didn’t hear that word for about a decade.
I recently went back to school to join an ethical food choice discussion at a high school in our nation’s capital. Although it jarred me on some levels, it inspired me on many more. I’m sharing this experience as just one example of thousands like it that are happening online, in boardrooms and conversations about food across Canada every single day.
The chicken industry, along with foodservice and retail, has been in the sights of vegan activists. Their mission, it seems, is to misinform and manipulate Canadians about how we do our work.
Last year the industry saw an irksome trend endure. Global food companies, in response to pressure from deceptive activist groups, continued to roll out different poultry welfare policies.
Begin with the end in mind. This simple leadership mantra captures the essence of the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity (CCFI) research on understanding Canadians’ expectations regarding trust and transparency in our food and how it’s produced. Before investing millions in changing farm and food production practices or in efforts to communicate with the public, it’s important to have a solid understanding of public perceptions and concerns. To be most effective, this investment should be part of a long-term game plan with proactive, collaborative thinking.
Third-generation farmer Ron Lamb remembers his father pulling six-metre-wide crop-seeding equipment around his southern Alberta grain fields in the 1990s, overlapping on each pass to make sure he covered all the ground.
Meat consumption in North America is changing. Product developers and policy-makers need to understand the reasons for that change.
It’s hard for some to believe that the meal kit sector is booming. It’s strange to think that people would buy a kit with all the ingredients for a meal (or have it delivered) and cook it when they could just buy the ingredients themselves for a substantially lower price.
Most Canadians celebrate innovation when it comes to their phones, cars and medical breakthroughs. Break out the party horns!
Whole bird turkey sales in Canada have declined quite a bit over the last few years, especially during the last two. Still, the turkey sector in Canada and in the U.S. continues to find success building consumption of other products.
As has been done periodically since it was created decades ago, the Canada Food Guide is being updated again, this time as part of a new Healthy Eating Strategy launched by Health Canada in the fall of 2016. Chicken Farmers of Canada (CFC) and some other groups and individuals have concerns over proposed updates to the guide that relate to a focus on plant-based proteins.
This week, Canadian egg, chicken, turkey and hatching egg farmers co-hosted their annual pop-up diner in downtown Ottawa. The event is a special celebration of Canadian farming families and the system of supply management that provides year-round access to fresh, local, high-quality ingredients from coast to coast.
Turkey Farmers of Canada, the Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors Council and Turkey Primary Processing Sector Members have together launched the first national, bilingual campaign to boost turkey consumption since 2004.
Canadians care that the eggs they choose are humanely raised, top quality, safe and produced in Canada. Very soon, a single Egg Quality Assurance (EQA) symbol on the carton, menu or package will give consumers the information they need to enjoy Canadian eggs with added confidence.
Did you know that September is National Chicken Month? Each year, Chicken Farmers of Canada has celebrated chicken farming throughout the whole month of September and this year we are as excited as ever.
Chicken Farmers of Canada is proud to announce the election of the 2018 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, Chair (Stanbridge Station, Quebec)Hailing from Stanbridge Station, Quebec, Benoît Fontaine, chair of Chicken Farmers of Canada, 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 5.5 million kg of chicken and 500,000 kg of turkey. 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 (Aldergrove, British Columbia)Derek Janzen, first vice-chair, and his wife Rhonda have farmed in the Fraser Valley since 1998. They currently produce 1.4 million Kg’s 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, 2nd Vice-Chair (Port Williams, Nova Scotia)Nick 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 1960’s. 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 8th 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 (Norwood, Ontario)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 to 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.People 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. So, when we say that the Canadian chicken industry is good for Canadians, it’s because we know that we’re raising our chickens to the highest standards: yours.
November 2, 2017, Ottawa, Ont. – The final step in concluding a new Federal Provincial Agreement for Chicken (FPA) was taken earlier this week. On October 31st, Farm Products Council of Canada determined that Governor-in-Council approval is not required for the new FPA.This brings to close more than eight years of discussions and negotiations to arrive at a new allocation methodology that is not only supported by all federal and provincial signatories, but also delivers on the requirements of the Farm Products Agencies Act for Chicken Farmers of Canada (CFC) to take comparative advantage into account when allocating production growth.The new FPA provides increased certainty to all industry stakeholders. "With it, we have the tools we need to grow, develop and thrive," Benoît Fontaine, chair of Chicken Farmers of Canada, added in a press release. "This FPA marks our industry's total commitment to a dynamic and always evolving supply management system for chicken."With the new FPA in hand, today, the Canadian chicken industry welcomed back Alberta Chicken Producers into the agreement, bringing all provinces back into the system. Alberta had withdrawn from the FPA in 2013, but continued to work at CFC on the modernization of the allocation system to ensure that Canadians from coast to coast continue to enjoy a steady supply of fresh, high-quality, Canadian-grown chicken."Our focus on responding quickly to the changing demands of consumers in every province, and to meeting all our challenges, are among the many reasons we are a Canadian success story," Fontaine said. "We're excited to have all our provinces back on board.""The agreement provides strength to the Canadian chicken industry and shows that we can work together to evolve our supply management system for the benefit of all," CFC executive director Michael Laliberté added.Supply management is a uniquely Canadian response to market volatility in a perishable product market. Consumer demand is rarely static. It changes as a result of demographic shifts, immigration from countries with different food preferences, and new science related to human health and nutrition.This latest FPA is paramount to the Canadian chicken industry's continued strategic growth. The active support and participation of the federal and provincial governments enhances the nation's international trade position, backing Canada'sright to use the marketing systems of its choice.
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