Business & Policy
For most marketers and producers of goods, the Chinese market spells opportunity. After all, the world’s most populous country boasts a potential 1.4 billion customers and its middle class and consumer purchasing power are both on the rise.
November 1, 2017, Ottawa, ON – The Canadian Meat Council (CMC) released its submission to the Government of Canada pertaining to the “Consultations on Canada's discussions with the remaining members of what was previously the Trans-Pacific Partnership”.The Council’s submission called for the “earliest possible completion, ratification and implementation” of the TPP. Failure to do so, according to the Council, would result in a devastating blow to the Canadian Meat Industry, which represents a significant segment of Canada’s economy and jobs.The submission highlights the important part in which international trade represents for the Canadian livestock and meat sector. In 2016, $6.2 billion of meat products was exported to more than 100 countries around the globe. Twenty-eight per cent or $1.7 billion was exported to TPP-11 members, particularly Japan.According to the CMC, “under TPP-11, Canadian meat exports to Japan are projected to increase by $500 million.” Without the speedy implementation of the TPP, Canada risks losing a critical competitive advantage to other large exporters such as the European Union.The Canadian meat industry amid these current negotiations, is reminded of the costly decline it experienced as a result of stalled Canadian negotiations with South Korea. The CMC notes that “not only did Canadian meat exports collapse by 56 per cent after competitors gained preferential access to the Korean market, the Canadian market access disadvantage will endure during the remaining years of the 15-year implementation period of the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement.The cost of Canada’s non-participation in the TPP could spell disaster for the meat industry, particularly, in the meat packing and processing sector which is typically a major or primary employer in towns and cities across Canada.The CMC affirms that abstention or indecision by Canada should not be accepted as a viable option. The Council also notes that should the ratification or implementation of the TPP by other countries be delayed, Canada should immediately re-invigorate negotiations of the Canada-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement to counter the increasing loss of Canadian competitiveness to other countries.
November 8, 2017, Hanoi, Vietnam – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau insists he will not be pressed into signing an updated Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty too hastily, even if some of Canada's partners are keen to secure a quick agreement.Trudeau made the remarks Wednesday when asked whether he would walk away from the 11-country trade pact if the revised deal failed to include several new ``progressive'' chapters Canada has been pushing for.``We believe that progressive, solid trade deals can help citizens in all sorts of different countries, at different levels of development and our ministers are very much focused on that,'' Trudeau told reporters in Hanoi, where he started his multi-day trip through Southeast Asia.``But let me, of course, remind everyone that Canada will not be rushed into a deal that is not in the best interests of Canada and of Canadians.''Trudeau then added, in French: ``I can assure people that we will not be rushed into signing a deal at all costs.''The remaining TPP economies are trying to revive the deal following President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw earlier this year.The TPP is expected to be a central theme at this week's Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation summit in the Vietnamese city of Danang. Trudeau will attend the APEC meetings and there has been speculation that some kind of deal could be reached by the end of the summit.International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne has said Canada wants the updated TPP to contain progressive chapters on the environment as well as workers' and women's rights.But trade experts have predicted that persuading Asia-Pacific economies on progressive chapters will be a tough sell.Some of the countries at the table are far less developed than Canada and would have difficulty implementing them, while others might prefer to leave social issues separate from trade agreements.Trudeau is travelling in the Asia-Pacific over the next week to strengthen Canada's ties to the region.He arrived Wednesday in the buzzing, moped-filled city of Hanoi. It's the capital of a fast-growing country that has a deep cultural connection for many Canadians.Trudeau met Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and civil society leaders, with whom he discussed issues like human rights, gender equality and freedom of expression.On Thursday, he's scheduled to travel to Ho Chi Minh City to visit the stock exchange, hold a roundtable with business leaders and appear at a university event.He will head to Danang on Saturday for the two-day APEC leaders' summit, before moving on to the Philippines to attend the annual meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.At both the APEC and ASEAN events, Canada is expected to press its trade agenda. It's already engaged in exploratory trade talks with the ASEAN countries as well as negotiations to salvage the TPP.When it comes to the members of the TPP, much of the focus remains on Japan, the world's third-largest economy.But Vietnam is also at the TPP table and it's an ASEAN member, which sets it up as a key partner in a region where Canada wants to increase its presence.Vietnam, projected to see economic growth this year of 6.3 per cent, features a sturdy consumer base, an emerging business class and an expanding footprint in supply chains.Dominic Barton, the global managing partner of consulting giant McKinsey & Co., said in an interview that the rapid changes in Vietnam's key cities remind him, in some respects, of what Shanghai went through less than two decades ago.Barton, who also chairs the Trudeau government's economic growth council, said Vietnam is an example of why Canada must be ``motoring ahead'' into Asia, particularly with so much uncertainty around the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.``We've got to go hard on those Asian relationships,'' said Barton, who led McKinsey operations in Asia and South Korea for nearly a decade.``I think we just have to have irons in many fires.''Dan Ciuriak, a former deputy chief economist for what is now known as Global Affairs Canada, believes an updated TPP pact is closer to fruition than Canada's potential deals with ASEAN or China.``Vietnam and Japan would be the two biggies for Canada in terms of diversifying trade,'' said Ciuriak, who is now the director of Ciuriak Consulting Inc.There are other parts of the original TPP where Canada would like to see modifications.A senior government official has said Canadian negotiators are seeking changes to the original TPP in several areas, such as its intellectual-property provisions, cultural exemptions and its impact on Canada's supply management system for dairy, poultry and eggs.Former Quebec premier Jean Charest, who is honorary chair of the ASEAN-Canada Business Council, said Vietnam not only shows real economic potential, it also has strong people-to-people links with Canada.Both countries have French heritages and both are members of la Francophonie, he said in an interview.But Charest said it's the story of the Vietnamese refugees, or boat people, who came to Canada in the late 1970s that really forged the bond.By 1980, around 60,000 people from Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos arrived in Canada after fleeing violence in their homelands. Today, about 240,000 people in Canada have Vietnamese roots.``Certainly, the story of the boat people in Quebec, I can tell you without hesitation that it resonates positively in the minds of Quebecers as being a good example of integration into the broader Quebec society,'' said Charest.However, when looking at today's Vietnam, Charest said the promising economy is accompanied by negatives, such as the fact ``it is a communist regime and everything that comes with it.''Canada's pursuit of a more open trading relationship with Vietnam comes with pressure to have frank discussions about the serious concerns over the communist government's human-rights record.Human Rights Watch calls the Vietnam's record ``dire in all areas'' because of the Communist party's firm grip on political power. The group also said the government has harassed, intimidated, physically harmed and jailed its opponents.Earlier this week, Conservative Sen. Thanh Hai Ngo urged Trudeau to use his time with Vietnamese leaders to raise Canada's ``serious concerns'' about Vietnam's human-rights abuses, such as its suppression of a growing democratic movement.Canada and Vietnam signed a partnership agreement Wednesday that would focus on deepening co-operation in many areas, like trade, security and cultural exchanges.Trudeau told reporters the agreement would also help advance the countries' ongoing dialogue on human rights.
October 20, 2017, Washington, D.C. – American policy-makers admit they have not worked to analyze the economic impact of the end of the North American Free Trade Agreement, even as President Donald Trump threatens to cancel the agreement.That absence of research applies to both elected branches of the U.S. government: neither the White House nor congressional researchers have an impact assessment, despite uncertainty over the fate of the 23-year-old pact.Frustrations at the bargaining table exploded into the open at the last round where the most common conversation topic in the hallways involved whether Trump's team was intentionally trying to sabotage a deal.A research unit for Congress, the U.S. Government Accountability Office, which performs studies for lawmakers, tells The Canadian Press that it has in the past conducted analysis on international issues like the monitoring of Iran's nuclear program, but nobody has yet requested research on NAFTA.``We have not been asked to look at the (NAFTA) issue,'' said an official there.It's the same at the White House. Donald Trump's trade czar, Robert Lighthizer, says he hasn't yet done the research. Inside U.S. Trade quoted him telling a group of American reporters that his current focus is trying to get a deal, not studying life without NAFTA.The countries have pushed the negotiation schedule into next year, shelving talk of a quick easy agreement.``You always think about what might happen, but we haven't done any analysis of that at this point,'' Lighthizer told a gathering of American trade reporters earlier this week, according to Inside U.S. Trade. ``No, we don't really have a plan beyond trying to get a good agreement...``(But) if we end up not having an agreement, my guess is all three countries will do just fine.''The Canadian government says it has been researching the potential impact of various trade scenarios.Some trade-watchers say it's stunning that Washington isn't.Duncan Wood, a Mexico expert, said the U.S. is certainly acting like it wants to leave the pact, putting forward proposals the other countries could never accept. Wood said he fears the Trump administration is inching toward a pullout – without doing its homework.``That doesn't make me feel very good when I go to bed at night,'' he told panel this week at the Washington International Trade Association.``If they were taking these decisions based upon years and years of studies and saying, 'You know what, we think we'll be absolutely fine, because the stats show it,' I could say, 'Okay, fine, I get it, I may disagree, because I like Mexico, but for the United States, I get it'...``(But) that (absence of research) worries me.''He cited the poultry trade as just one example of the complex potential consequences.Producers sell different chicken parts to different markets, based on local preferences. He said Mexico's huge chicken tariffs would lead to an oversupply of dark meat on the U.S. market; a shortage in Mexico; and chicken plants moving to Mexico.But he said broken cross-border supply chains aren't what worries him most. Wood expressed fear that the current fight at the NAFTA table is a prelude to a bigger battle against the World Trade Organization and international trading system: ``These are dark days, my friends... This is near-apocalyptic what we're looking at. I don't mean to exaggerate. I'm not one for hyperbole.``I actually am terrified about what's about to happen.''The last Republican president expressed similar concerns.George W. Bush delivered a gloomy speech this week that, without mentioning Donald Trump, warned about the degradation of American democracy, mean-spiritedness, racism, conspiracy-mongering, and attacks on open commerce.``Free trade helped make America into a global economic power,'' Bush said. ``We see a fading confidence in the value of free markets and international trade – forgetting that conflict, instability, and poverty follow in the wake of protectionism.''He said policy-makers should be sensitive to the painful effects globalization has had on some industries: ``People are hurting. They are angry. And, they are frustrated. We must hear them and help them. But we can't wish globalization away, any more than we could wish away the agricultural revolution or the industrial revolution.''The Canadian government says it's been studying a variety of NAFTA contingency scenarios since last August.Some of that work has involved the legal and political questions surrounding a breakup. But officials say multiple departments, including Global Affairs Canada and the Department of Finance, have also been conducting economic analysis of the potential impact of a NAFTA cancellation.The former head of Foreign Affairs' computer-modelling unit, Dan Ciuriak, said he's working on a paper on different scenarios for the C.D. Howe Institute. His preliminary estimate is that the most drastic result – the end of free trade in North America – would see Canada's economy contract 2.5 per cent long-term, with a larger shock in the short term.
October 17, 2017 – Supply management: economists love to hate it, and Canadian farmers are loathe to give it up.The politically explosive issue emerged yet again Monday as a flashpoint in increasingly heated NAFTA renegotiation talks after the United States asked for an end to the system within the next decade.So what, exactly is supply management, and why does it stir up so much controversy?The debate has been going on since the federal government created the system in the early 1970s in response to wide swings in prices and interprovincial trade disputes as technology and other developments disrupted the agricultural markets.The complicated system sets prices and protects Canadian farmers from competition, creating stability for dairy, egg, chicken and turkey producers. But it is seen as a symbol of government overreach and distortion of the market by those opposed.Because the system blocks out foreign production from the Canadian market, it is a thorn in the side of trade negotiators as other countries look for freer access to Canada's food markets, while Canadian politicians have shied away from any drastic changes.The federal and provincial governments use a few ways to control the market.They keep out foreign competition with high tariffs on imports, which vary by product but run as high as 300 per cent for butter.To avoid oversupply, provincial boards regulate how much farmers are allowed to produce.For example, any farmer, except very small producers, that wants to produce eggs, milk, or poultry needs to secure a government ''quota,'' or production allotment. Much like the medallion system that regulates the number of taxi drivers, quotas mean a farmer has the right to produce a certain amount of the product.Any new farmer has to buy in, and the rights don't come cheap. The prices vary significantly by category and by province, some of which have capped how high the quota price can go.In 2015, the right to produce a kilogram of butterfat a day – the standard measurement for dairy quotas – sold for $42,500 in British Columbia, but for $23,000 in New Brunswick. Overall, the government says the value of all the supply management quotas issued stood at about $35 billion last year.Finally, with both foreign and domestic competition limited by the system, the government boards need to decide how much farmers will be paid for their production, since standard market forces that are supposed to set prices aren't at work.The government sets a minimum price that processors have to pay the farmers, or a ''price floor.'' Critics have argued that floor is artificially high, meaning dairy and other products cost more for Canadian consumers that they might otherwise.To help determine the price, provincial boards canvas producers to figure out the costs of production and then add a margin of profit to determine how much they're guaranteed to be paid, explained Alfons Weersink, a professor of food and agriculture economics at the University of Guelph.''The system provides a stable return, and a decent return. And that's the hallmarks of the system,'' said Weersink. ''It's not subject to volatility of other agricultural sectors, which are inherently variable; ups and downs in prices constantly.''But that artificial, government-controlled price stability goes against the basic tenants of free-market thinking, according to economists like Herbert Grubel.The senior fellow at the Fraser Institute, and professor emeritus of economics at Simon Fraser University, says the system inflates prices, with several studies showing the average household pays hundreds of dollars more because of it, and that it would be better for the market to set prices and adjust for risks.''The free market adjusts the returns that people get from certain activities by taking account of the amount of risk they take,'' said Grubel.He believes the quota system adds significant costs to farmers (and therefore consumers) because they have to buy the right to produce, and take on significant debt to do so.The industry, however, disputes that there would be any savings from dismantling the system, and that other countries provide more indirect subsidies to their agriculture industries.The issue came up in Trans-Pacific Partnership talks, while U.S. negotiators have demanded an end to the system as part of ongoing NAFTA negotiations.Canada did make concessions in the recently enacted Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the European Union, allowing 16,000 tonnes of duty-free cheese plus another 1,700 tonnes for use in food processing, while leaving the system as a whole largely unchanged.There have been various proposals on how to dismantle the system, either by adding a surcharge to products to compensate farmers for their quota investments, or to gradually keep increasing the number of quotas allotted, but it won't be a simple affair to dismantle such an entrenched program.
October 16, 2017, Arlington, United States – The United States has lit the fuse on one of Canada's most politically explosive trade issues, asking in NAFTA talks for an end to the supply management system for dairy, chicken, eggs and turkey within the next decade.With that demand, the U.S. has now adopted a highly aggressive posture on virtually all the key issues expected to arise in the current NAFTA talks: it has asked to erect trade barriers in its own politically sensitive sectors, while eliminating them north of the border.The latest demands come near the end of a week-long round where American negotiators dropped one bombshell demand after another, leading the other countries to question whether the U.S. goal is to actually reach a deal or to blow up NAFTA altogether.Two sources tell The Canadian Press the request came on Sunday evening, catching some on the Canadian side off-guard, since they hadn't expected the highly contentious issue to arise during the current round.One source says the supply-management request came with an initial phase-in period of five per cent more market access per year, leading to total duty-free, quota-free trade in protected supply-managed areas within 10 years.That adds dairy, poultry, and eggs to a list of irritants that includes auto parts, textiles, trade-enforcement panels, Buy American rules for public works and a proposed five-year termination clause embedded in the agreement, with the countries holding not just different positions, but sitting on opposite sides of gaping ideological differences.``Outrageous,'' said Pierre Lampron, president of the Dairy Farmers of Canada, of the latest proposal.``It would be the end of supply management.... We are not surprised by the U.S. demands, they are in line with the demands they have made in other sectors.''The Canadian government, meanwhile, is calling the idea a non-starter.Canada's system of protections was born from a 1960s effort to stabilize dairy prices, and was later emulated in other industries. It works by limiting imports and setting fixed prices.The system's critics say the tightly controlled program stifles innovation, bars Canadian companies from selling onto international markets, limits choice at the grocery store and saddles Canadian consumers with higher prices.The U.S. move was praised by the Montreal Economic Institute, a free-market think tank in Montreal, which urged Canadian policy-makers to seize the opportunity to dismantle a system that it says costs Canadian families an extra $339 a year in grocery bills.``You can't on the one hand defend tariffs that sometimes reach 300 per cent for supply-managed products, then accuse the American government of being protectionist,'' said Alexandre Moreau, a policy analyst with the institute.``That being said, the Canadian government should also make sure the Americans abolish their own dairy programs, and obviously offer fair compensation to farmers for their (supply-managed) quotas.''Therein lies the challenge.Defenders of the current system say eliminating it would create new problems – starting with the billions it would cost to buy out existing quotas. They say the status quo provides stability in rural communities, allows farms to survive without boom-bust cycles, and makes taxpayer bailouts unnecessary. The U.S., meanwhile, maintains numerous support programs to prop up its farmers, they note.No major Canadian political party has ever opposed the system.The federal Liberal government had said entering the talks it did not want to even discuss supply management, having promised to maintain the system. Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay said Monday: ``I've indicated quite clearly that our government is going to fight to make sure (supply management) stays in place. To deal with anything else is simply a non-starter.''The U.S. has now tabled a series of positions far outside the realm of what Canada says it's prepared to negotiate, prompting fears that a deal may be slipping out of reach.Indeed, the prospect of a deal by year's end already seems impossible. With Mexico and the U.S. embroiled in national elections next year, the countries fear that a failure to get a deal by early next year will push the talks into 2019.U.S. President Donald Trump, meanwhile, keeps threatening to cancel the existing agreement, to force concessions from the other countries. Mexico's finance minister, Jose Antonio Meade, blamed the uncertainty Monday for damaging his country's currency.Pro-trade U.S. senator John McCain tweeted a Wall Street Journal editorial with the headline, ``Trump's NAFTA threat: Ending the pact would be the worst economic blunder since Nixon,'' calling the editorial a ``must-read.''The head of the World Trade Organization warned against increasing uncertainty in the global trading system. The U.S. is being accused of sabotaging the dispute panels at the international body, as it's seeking to gut them within NAFTA.``I hope that (NAFTA) will not (end) because not only of the economic impact ... but also for the systemic implications,'' said WTO director-general Roberto Azevedo.``It's very important to have these initiatives because they are the groundwork, they are the foundations of the WTO itself.''The U.S. has introduced aggressive demands in virtually every major NAFTA area: Auto parts. The U.S. wants all cars to comprise 50 per cent U.S. content to avoid a tariff. The U.S. has requested this policy be phased in within one year – which automakers call impossible. Dispute-resolution. The U.S. wants to gut the enforcement systems of NAFTA, making the panels for Chapter 11, 19 and 20 disputes either non-binding, or voluntary. Buy American. The U.S. wants to severely curb other countries' access to public works contracts. Sunset clause. The U.S. has requested a termination clause that would end NAFTA after five years, unless all parties agree to extend the agreement. Dairy. The supply management request follows an earlier request for a de-facto veto over Canadian milk-classification decisions, which in the case of diafiltered cheese-making products has advantaged Canadian producers.
October 16, 2017, Ottawa, Ont. – The Trudeau government took the first of several steps Monday to stanch the bleeding from a self-inflicted political wound, resurrecting a campaign promise to cut taxes for small businesses outraged by its controversial tax-reform proposals.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to gradually trim the small-business tax rate to nine per cent by 2019, down from its current level of 10.5 per cent, and also to make further changes to the plan that triggered the angry backlash from entrepreneurs in the first place.''This tax cut will support Canada's small businesses so that they can keep more of their hard-earned money, money that they can invest back into their businesses, their employees and their communities,'' Trudeau told a news conference in Stouffville, Ont.The small business tax rate will fall to 10 per cent in January 2018 and again to nine per cent in 2019.Doctors, lawyers, accountants, shop owners, farmers, premiers and even some Liberal backbenchers have denounced the tax proposals, contending they'd hurt the very middle class Trudeau claims to be trying to help.Trudeau and Finance Minister Bill Morneau have said the reforms will be designed to ensure they target wealthy individuals who've used the incorporation of small businesses to gain what the government maintains is an unfair tax advantage.In hope of calming critics, Trudeau also announced Monday he will abandon at least one of the tax-reform elements: changing the lifetime capital gains rule. The adjustment is intended to avoid negative impacts on the intergenerational transfer of family businesses, like farms.On another controversial proposal, the government intends to move ahead. The change is aimed at limiting the ability of business owners to lower their personal income taxes by sprinkling their income to family members who do not contribute to their companies.Trudeau said a simplified version of the original proposal announced in July would be introduced, effective Jan. 1, 2018, but added the adjustments would be made clear as the government moves forward.He also said nothing Monday of any impending changes to what is perhaps the most-controversial aspect of his tax proposals and, potentially, the most lucrative for government coffers: limiting the use of private corporations to make passive investments unrelated to the company.The government is expected to announce more changes related to its tax proposals later this week.Morneau, who's been tasked with the difficult job of trying to sell the government's tax proposals to the public and even fellow Liberal MPs, joined Trudeau at Monday's announcement.''I spent the last few weeks travelling the country, listening to people,'' he said. ''We know that our current system just isn't fair. It rewards people who are successful more than it rewards people who are working hard to be successful.''We didn't design the system that we inherited, but we've made clear that we intend to fix it. We're going to leave a fairer system behind for the next generation.''Trudeau campaigned in 2015 on a promise to reduce the small business tax rate to nine per cent from 11 per cent over three years.But he announced in Budget 2016 he would freeze the rate at 10.5 per cent, cancelling in the process a legislated reduction to nine per cent instituted by the previous Conservative government.Faced with vocal opposition to the tax proposals, the Liberal government is now reviving the nine per cent promise.Trudeau insisted Monday the government stated it would only lower the small business tax cut after it had conducted a tax-system review, which it undertook last year.But Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer accused Trudeau on Monday of only reinstating the small business tax cut as a way to manage the growing political crisis around the tax proposals.''The very first thing the prime minister did, in his first budget, was to cancel that tax cut,'' Scheer said in Ottawa. ''Today, he would have you believe that this was the plan all along. I reject that.''The small business tax rate applies to the first $500,000 of active corporate income.On Monday, the Liberal government said lowering the rate will provide entrepreneurs with up to an additional $7,500 per year. Combined, Ottawa estimates the tax reductions will reduce Ottawa's revenues by about $2.9 billion over five years.On the tax proposals, more changes are likely on the way.As originally proposed, the plan would restrict income sprinkling, in which an incorporated business owner can transfer income to a child or spouse who is taxed at a lower rate, regardless of whether they actually do any work for the company.It would also limit the use of private corporations to make passive investments that are unrelated to the company and curb the ability of business owners to convert regular income of a corporation into capital gains, which are taxed at a lower rate.The Canadian Federation of Independent Business said overall the announcement was a good thing, though there are still some concerns.''What this decision will do is pump hundreds of millions of dollars back into the small business community and that will help entrepreneurs create more jobs and grow the economy,'' said prairie CFIB spokeswoman Marilyn Braun-Pollon.''We are worried that the income-sprinkling changes will keep the benefits of ... ownership out of the hands of many spouses, who as we know participate in more informal ways in the business.''Braun-Pollon said they will also wait to hear more on passive income rules and the treatment of capital gains related to business succession, which is of particular interest to farmers.The Liberals' popularity has taken a hit in some opinion polls amid the backlash to the proposed reforms, first announced in mid-July.The damage control effort began Monday with the briefing for Liberal MPs, some of whom have been among the most critical of the proposals. Backbenchers emerged from the meeting saying they feel satisfied that the government has listened to their concerns, although they were not given details of the changes that are to be unveiled in a series of announcements later in the week.''I feel very, very positive. For the first time in a couple months, I've got a bit of a smile on my face,'' said New Brunswick MP Wayne Long, who was kicked off two Commons committees for voting against the government earlier this month on a Conservative motion calling for further consultations on the proposed reforms.''There wasn't a lot of specifics today, but I'm very, very confident – by certainly the tone and messaging of the minister – that a lot of these concerns ... will be addressed.''– With files from CJWW
October 17, 2017, Ottawa, Ont. – The federal government is moving to pare down its controversial tax proposal on passive income so that it will only affect three per cent of small businesses.A senior government official tells The Canadian Press that Finance Minister Bill Morneau will be in New Brunswick on Wednesday to unveil changes to his passive investment proposal so that it only targets unfair tax advantages used by the wealthy.The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of the announcement, says Morneau will also share updated estimates showing there's between $200 billion and $300 billion in assets sitting in the passive investment accounts of just two per cent of all private corporations.The official says the finance minister will also point out that dollar figure is growing by $16 billion per year as wealthy incorporated individuals reap unlimited benefits from tax-advantaged savings accounts over and above RRSPs and TFSAs.The government is tweaking its original proposal after hearing concerns that cracking down on passive investments could adversely affect middle-class entrepreneurs who use their companies to save for economic downturns, sick leaves and parental leaves.The official refused to provide additional details ahead of Wednesday's announcement, part of a week-long Liberal effort to calm the anger surrounding the tax proposals, which have outraged entrepreneurs, doctors, tax professionals, farmers and Liberal backbench MPs.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau began the week by announcing tax cuts for small businesses and plans to abandon part of one of the proposals to avoid negative impacts on the intergenerational transfer of family businesses, like farms.The official says the problem isn't with individuals, but the system, since it encourages wealthy Canadians to keep their personal money inside their corporations so they can receive tax advantages not available to everyone else.The changes will not be retroactive, as outlined in the original proposal, and they will not affect existing savings, nor the income from those savings, the official said.Morneau is expected to provide further details Wednesday on the changes to its passive-investment proposal, including a timeline and a plan for addressing the concerns of angel investors and venture capitalists.In announcing the proposals last summer, Morneau recommended limits on the use of private corporations to make passive investments that are unrelated to the company.However, tax experts have warned the original proposal would threaten entrepreneurship in Canada by preventing some business owners from saving for retirement, maternity leaves and economic slowdowns.
October 13, 2017, Guelph, Ont. – The federal government today announced a $1.31 million investment in poultry welfare and other livestock initiatives. Speaking from the Arkell Research Centre, Guelph MP Lloyd Longfield announced Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada was commiting the money to the Canadian Animal Health Coalition (CAHC).Its stated goals are to help ensure the safe transportation of livestock, develop emergency management tools for the livestock industry and improve animal care assessments.The investment will be divided between four projects, including: Up to $223,929 to develop a new livestock transport on-line certification program that will simplify, standardize and provide an opportunity for truckers, shippers and receivers to more easily access the training necessary to improve handling practices. Up to $160,713 to update the Transportation Codes of Practice for the care and handling of farm animals during transport. Up to $813,200 to develop an emergency management plan for the Canadian livestock industry to help mitigate, to respond to, and to recover from major hazard emergencies. Up to $112,180 to revise the Chicken Farmers of Canada's (CFC) animal care assessment program to meet the new Code of Practice for hatching eggs, breeders, chickens and turkeys. The project will strengthen the poultry industry's capacity to respond to ever increasing demand by markets to demonstrate effective animal care standards.
October 4, 2017, Rockwood, Ont. – 4-H Ontario recently announced the inaugural Poultry Sen$e conference, taking place October 13-15, 2017 at YMCA Camp Cedar Glen in Schomberg, Ontario. The event is intended to prepare youth ages 18-25 for a career in the poultry industry. Through guest speakers, case studies, facility tours, and networking with industry leaders and peers, participants will gain practical skills that will assist in running a profitable poultry operation. Participants will learn about succession planning, creating a business plan and farm business management practices, while improving their presentation, teamwork and strategic thinking abilities. “The Poultry Industry Council believes in youth leadership development and when you offer the opportunity to positively impact the poultry sector through the Poultry Sen$e conference our sector potential becomes limitless,” Keith Robbins, executive director of the Poultry Industry Council, said in a press release. “We are excited to be able to provide this new opportunity to young adults interested in a career in the poultry industry,” added Andy McTaggart, interim manager, programming with 4-H Ontario. Visit 4-HOntario.ca/poultry-sen$e for more information.
October 2, 2017, Regina, Sask. – A group representing Saskatchewan farmers has told the federal government that it's against proposed corporate tax changes, saying there are grave concerns.The Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan says the proposed federal tax changes could hurt the ability to keep Saskatchewan farms in the family.The association wants agriculture to be exempt from the proposed tax changes.APAS president Todd Lewis says 27 per cent of Saskatchewan family farms have incorporated, mainly as a vehicle for the transfer of their operating assets between generations.Lewis says succession plans are designed to ensure that younger generations can take over the operation without having to totally recapitalize the farm, and to provide a secure retirement income for older generations.He says the future of the industry depends on it.``We have seldom seen such concern from all members of the farm and ranch community about a government initiative,'' Lewis said in a news release Monday.``Saskatchewan producers were completely taken by surprise by the proposals contained in the Tax Planning Using Private Corporations consultation document. Both by the recommendations, and by an extremely compressed consultation period conducted during our busy harvest season.''
September 28, 2017, Ottawa, Ont. – Finance Minister Bill Morneau tried to reassure farmers Thursday that Ottawa's controversial tax proposals, if introduced, wouldn't impair their ability to bequeath the family farm to the next generation.Morneau said Thursday that ''technical fixes'' for the federal proposals may be on the way amid concerns the reforms could add significant costs for those who seek to keep their farms in the family.The minister was among more than a dozen witnesses testifying before a parliamentary committee that's examining proposed tax changes for private corporations – measures that have subjected the Trudeau government to an onslaught of public and political outrage.Opponents of the reforms insist the changes would hurt Canadians at different income levels and from many different sectors, including doctors, farmers and small business owners.Farmers have raised particular concerns about elements of the proposed changes that some estimates say could see families taxed twice for inter-generational transfers of their operations.''Our goal is not, and will not be, to change the ability to move a family business, a family farm, a fishing business from one generation to the next,'' Morneau said after his appearance.''There may be technical fixes to make sure that we get that right.''Morneau also warned that critics are spreading misinformation about the proposed tax changes, particularly when it comes to how they might affect farmers.The Liberal government has been engaged in a communications war over its plan, which it insists would end tax advantages unfairly exploited by some wealthy business owners.Morneau argues the proposals are designed to create a fairer tax system, especially for those in the so-called middle class, but he says he's open to adjusting it after a public consultation period ends next week.The proposal package includes restrictions on the ability of business owners to reduce their tax rate by sprinkling their income to family members in lower tax brackets, even if those family members do not contribute to the company.Morneau has also proposed limits on the use of private corporations to make passive investments that are unrelated to the company. Another change would limit the ability of business owners to convert regular income of a corporation into capital gains, which are typically taxed at a lower rate.Critics of the plan say it would hurt entrepreneurs who take personal financial risks when they decide to open a business, hire staff, save for retirement, save for maternity leave and sock away funds for economic downturns.They contend that the proposals, if legislated, will also deliver a blow to the bottom lines of not just the wealthy, but of middle-income earners as well.The committee heard from an apple farmer who urged the government to shield farms from the tax changes so they don't end up as ''collateral damage.''''I need to plan succession – I need to do this in advance to ensure my farm stays within my family,'' said Andrew Lovell, who added that he also relies on his sometimes-volatile farming business as a savings vehicle for his retirement.''This year we had a drought in New Brunswick – I'm facing huge crop losses. How do I plan for Mother Nature?''Morneau faced sharp criticism from political opponents Thursday over his tax proposals both inside and outside the committee room.One rival noted after the hearing that Morneau appears to bending to pressure amid a backlash from angry business owners, several provincial leaders and even public concerns voiced by backbench Liberal MPs.''The result is, I think that he's looking for an off-ramp for some of these proposals,'' Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre said after the meeting.''The reason that people are so fearful is because these tax changes not only reach into their pockets, they mess up people's lives.''On the farmer-succession issue, New Democrat MP Alexandre Boulerice said: ''I hope he will do the right thing because there's a lot of fear right now.''Later, during question period, Tory MPs attacked Morneau for not abstaining from the discussions around the tax changes, which they allege could end up benefiting his family's company, Morneau Shepell.Before entering politics, Morneau was executive chairman of the company, which is the country's largest human resources consulting firm. Morneau Shepell also offers individual pension plans.Some Tories referred to committee testimony earlier in the day by James Merrigan, a corporate lawyer from Newfoundland and Labrador.Merrigan told the committee that individual pension plans, such as those offered by Morneau Shepell, would become more appealing options for some of his clients if the tax proposals are implemented as is.There would be ''a lot of money poured into that area,'' he added.For the most part, Morneau didn't directly respond to questions in the House about a potential conflict of interest related to his family's company.He did reply to one by saying: ''Not only did I not abstain, but I actively engaged in working to make sure the tax system is fair.''
October 4, 2017, Puslinch, Ont. – Following the 60th edition of the London Poultry Show, organizers have rebranded the annual event the Canadian Poultry Expo for 2018. The show, in partnership with Western Fair District and Poultry Industry Council, has been growing steadily with the past few years showing tremendous success becoming the largest show in Canada for the poultry industry. The show has gained international recognition and support with exhibitors and industry attendees coming from across North America and from overseas. “We are proud of the success and the size of this show which just keeps getting bigger each year,” PIC executive director Keith Robbins said in a press release. “The location is perfectly situated to draw attendees from Northeastern United States and from all across Canada. You owe it to yourself to make it to the April show if you want to evaluate new technology, attend the education sessions, or network with others in the poultry sector.” The 61st edition of the event goes April 4-5.
September 5, 2017, Ontario - Exchanging the sweltering humidity of the Philippines for the unpredictable weather of southern Ontario, Miguel Decena, President of Decena Poultry Co., and his wife, Josephine, made the long trip from Manila to Toronto in order to tour the Jamesway facility and inspect their new hatchery equipment as it left the factory.The construction of the Decena’s new, state-of-the-art hatchery marks the company’s first foray into the incubation market, though they have long been dominant as poultry processors in the northern Cagayan and Isabela regions of the Philippines. The new hatchery will produce 241,920 chicks a week and plans are already in the works for a second operation serving the Luzon province sometime next year. Decena started the successful business himself almost 30 years ago when he was an independent distributor packing chickens into a small 4 wheeled ‘jeepney’. From there he has grown the company to over 400 full time employees and servicing over 2,000 stores daily. Decena is grooming his children to succeed him in the company, and, consequently, the entire family is involved in the operation in some capacity.Decena is very happy with his decision to go with Jamesway for the hatchery and values the company’s reputation for easy to use, efficient machines backed by excellent customer service. Mr. Decena says “Jamesway was the company that offered us the best return on our investment, along with such great service. The decision was very easy.” He is expecting to rely heavily on Jameway’s team of hatchery experts as he ventures into this new facet of the poultry industry.During their recent stay in Canada, the couple was able to visit Niagara Falls, tour some hatcheries and get a thorough understanding of Jamesway processes.
August 30, 2017, Hickson, Ont. - Weeden Environments is a global leader in providing new technology in products & equipment designed for the poultry and livestock industry to lower stress levels while improving performance and productivity. Weeden Environments is headquartered in Hickson, Ont., and the company recently hired more employees to support the growth of operations and expand customer services.“We continue to experience strong growth as we drive forward with our efforts,” Kevin Weeden, President said. “We’re excited to welcome our latest members, as they will each take on essential roles in strengthening our service. Bryce Bramhill, initially hired at Weeden Environments as purchasing manager in 2016, is moving into a role as operations manager/inside sales manager. Bryce joined Weeden after running his own business in Waterloo, Ont., for seven years. Combined, he has more than 15 years of agricultural experience both working and living on hog, and poultry operations. Additionally, he worked at a poultry equipment company in Listowel, Ont., for six years. In his role at Weeden Environments, Bryce will manage purchasing, shipping and receiving as well as oversee the internal operations and processes of Weeden Environments. Also, he will work collectively with the technical service support team to ensureall customers are completely satisfied.Mark Lingard joins Weeden Environments as the service manager. Mark brings a wealth of experience to the Weeden team as he spent numerous years running his own company and working for Tim Horton Children’s Foundation as the property and asset standards manager for seven camps throughout Canada and the U.S. Mark attended post-secondary education in the United Kingdom for physics and completed a surgical instrument course. He then moved to building and renovating homes where he specialized in custom furniture and became a master cabinet maker. Mark’s in-depth knowledge of the agricultural and technical aspects of Weeden Environments, will allow him to maintain Weeden’s high quality customer service through installing, repairing and servicing poultry equipment.Kevin Thompson will oversee Central and Eastern Ontario and the Niagara region as the territory sales manager for Weeden Environments. Kevin’s farming experience began early as he was raised on a dairy farm and eventually switched to growing broilers 14 years ago. In 2011, his family broiler operation successfully converted their broilers to antibiotic free. Kevin received his Honours Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from the University of Guelph and he also spent 4 years gathering data and administering protocols in poultry research at Maple Leaf Foods AgResearch, now Nutreco Canada AgResearch. With Kevin’s lifelong experience in farming combined with his deep educational background, Weeden Environments is thrilled for him to join the team.For further information on Weeden products, please contact:
August 3, 2017, Snowbird, Utah – Young agricultural communicators are the voices of the future, and helping these passionate leaders join the global conversation is key to educating the world’s consumers about where their food comes from.Alltech is proud to support young agricultural journalists at the Ag Media Summit through the Livestock Publications Council Forrest Bassford Student Award and, new in 2017, the American Agricultural Editors’ Association Alltech Cultivating Young Ag Journalists Awards.The 2017 Livestock Publications Council Forrest Bassford Student Award, sponsored by Alltech, was presented to Topanga McBride, a senior at Kansas State University who is majoring in agricultural communications and journalism as well as agricultural economics. McBride was presented with a $2,000 scholarship and a plaque during the Ag Media Summit.Born in Phoenix, Arizona, and raised in Fort Collins, Colorado, McBride grew up showing Milking Shorthorns for her 4-H dairy project. While she initially had no intention to stay in the agriculture industry, her peers’ lack of knowledge regarding their food sparked her passion for agricultural communications.“When I realized that my teachers’ and friends’ sole connection to agriculture was me, I knew that I had to use my voice,” said McBride. “Agriculture is an industry that touches everyone’s lives, and we cannot afford to sit out on the conversation.”McBride is currently a media relations intern for Monsanto Co. She will return to her role as a communications intern at the Kansas Department of Agriculture in the fall. Previously, she served as a public relations intern for Look East and the Center for Food Integrity.In addition to her intern experiences, McBride is heavily involved in collegiate and national organizations. She serves on the Agriculture Future of America Student Advisory Team along with nine other collegiate agriculture leaders. She is an active member of Sigma Alpha, a professional sorority for women in agriculture, a Kansas State University ag ambassador and editorial director for Kansas State University’s chapter of Spoon University.The Forrest Bassford Student Award honors excellence, professionalism and leadership among students. Each year, following a competitive application process, the LPC Student Award Program provides travel scholarships for four students to attend the Ag Media Summit. In addition to McBride, this year's travel award winners were: Katie Friedrichs, Oklahoma State University Taylor Belle Matheny, Kansas State University Jill Seiler, Kansas State University During the Ag Media Summit, the four finalists’ portfolios were reviewed, and each was interviewed by a panel of professionals.2017 marks the 32nd year of the LPC Student Award Program. In 1992, Forrest Bassford's name was attached to the LPC Student Award in honor of his contribution to LPC and his particular interest in furthering the Student Award. Alltech has co-sponsored the award since 2012.“Alltech is proud to support young agricultural communicators as they share the stories that need to be told within the agriculture industry as well as educate the urban population on where and who their food comes from,” said Jenn Norrie, on-farm communications manager for Alltech.2017 also marked the first year of the American Agricultural Editors’ Association Alltech Cultivating Young Ag Journalists Awards, providing the opportunity for active AAEA agricultural journalists 35 years old or younger with a travel stipend to attend the Ag Media Summit as well as an invitation to attend ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference (ONE18), May 20–23, 2018, in Lexington, Kentucky.The 2017 American Agricultural Editors’ Association Alltech Cultivating Young Ag Journalists Award recipients were: Ann Hess, AGDAILY/Carbon Media Anna McConnel, Successful Farming/Meredith Agrimedia Kasey Brown, Angus Media Shelby Mettlen, Angus Media “The American Agricultural Editors’ Association believes it is vital to provide professional development and education opportunities for its younger members to attend the annual Ag Media Summit,” said Samantha Kilgore, executive director of AAEA. “The Cultivating Young Ag Journalists Awards, made possible by Alltech, will help reach that goal of continuing to provide development and education for the nation’s leading ag communicators.”The 19th annual Ag Media Summit hosted more than 600 agricultural communicators, media professionals and students at the Snowbird resort outside of Salt Lake City, Utah, July 22–26, 2017. The Ag Media Summit is a joint meeting of the American Agricultural Editors’ Association (AAEA), the Livestock Publications Council (LPC) and the Connectiv Agri-Media Committee, and it offers opportunities for professional development and industry networking.
August 2, 2017 – Huntsville, Ala. – Aviagen announced that it has signed an agreement to purchase Hubbard Breeders, the broiler genetics division of Groupe Grimaud. The agreement between the two companies was signed on July 31, 2017, and will be concluded later this year. As part of the agreement, Hubbard will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Aviagen Group, under the direction of Aviagen CEO Jan Henriksen. It will remain an independent broiler breeding company with separate breeding and commercial activities, and will continue to be headquartered in France.“We welcome Hubbard into the Aviagen family,” says Aviagen CEO Jan Henriksen. “Hubbard’s diversity of genetic products and in-depth expertise in the different segments of the broiler breeding market will greatly contribute to Aviagen's expanding product line offerings. We look forward to leveraging the full strength ofthe Aviagen group to further enhance Hubbard's position as an important player in the global broiler breeder market.”Hubbard CEO Olivier Rochard agrees that the close association with Aviagen will add great value to Hubbard's global customer base.“My management team and I are delighted to become part of such a world-class organization as Aviagen. We are looking forward to utilizing the strengths of both organizations, particularly in the areas of technology, R&D, production efficiencies and distribution capabilities,” he says. “We share with Aviagen the ultimate goal of continually advancing the genetic potential of our birds and safeguarding the security of supply to global markets, which will profit our valued customers all around the world.”The two companies will continue to operate and support their customers independently, with no disruption to their customary products and services. At the same time, customers will benefit from the combined best practices, experience and knowledge, as well as the strong dedication to customer success shared by both companies.
July 28, 2017, Shakespeare, Ont. - Faromor Ltd and Faromor CNG Corporation have announced the recent commissioning of one of the first energy independent poultry facilities in Canada.In affiliation with Toyota Bushoko and YANMAR Micro Combined Heat and Power Systems of Adairsville Georgia, Faromor Ltd and Faromor CNG Corporation have completed the new facility for Steeple High Farms of Tavistock, Ontario Canada.“This is a timely and welcomed development, distributed generation micro CHP systems deliver high onsite efficiency. They are able to generate the correct amount of power at the right time, making them much more efficient than the electrical grid," said Nicholas Hendry, President of Faromor CNG Corporation.YANMAR has been perfecting its products and business practices for over 100 years. With units in service in Europe for more than 15 years, YANMAR micro CHP systems have been recognized globally. By utilizing a highly efficient engine and capturing nearly all the remaining energy as heat, the YANMAR micro CHP system is up to 2.6 times as efficient as your current centralized power.With ease of installation, high reliability and functionality, a reduction in C02 emissions and low operation noise, the YANMAR micro CHP system delivers an energy balance by constantly monitoring power demand and output.As electrical prices continue to increase, you can gain significant utility bill cost savings by switching to propane or abundant natural gas micro CHP electrical generation for your farm.
August 16, 2017, Alberta - Public trust is eroding in Canada, and farmers — along with others in the value chain — need to fight back, says the head of a new ag organization aimed at winning back confused consumers.“The whole industry needs to know a whole bunch more about consumers,” said Kim McConnell, an Okotoks-based marketing expert and new chair of the The Centre for Food Integrity. “That’s what the primary focus of The Centre for Food Integrity is.”The centre, based in Guelph, Ont., is holding its first “public trust summit” in Calgary from Sept. 18-20. The conference is designed to show members of the agricultural industry how to earn the trust of consumers. READ MORE
July 19, Listowel, Ont. – This year’s second Breakfast on the Farm event will be hosted by the Johnston Family of Listowel. The event will be the eighth Breakfast on the Farm organized by Farm & Food Care Ontario since 2013.To date, approximately 15,000 people have been fed, entertained and engaged at the events. Organizers are expecting between 1,500 and 2,000 people to attend.Breakfast on the Farm provides a unique opportunity for farmers and non‐farming Ontarians to have a conversation about food and farming. It gives visitors the chance to visit a real, working farm, provides a showcase for agriculture and gives non-farmers the opportunity to have their questions answered by real farmers.The event will take place at Maplevue farm – a family business owned by brothers Doug and Dave Johnston. Along with their seven children, the brothers’ family has been farming on the same land for 125 years, and currently have 60 cows and 1,500 acres of crops.Technology is Doug and Dave’s main focus, and they regularly learn about and incorporate new ideas into the farm.“Modern agriculture has a lot to show people,” says Doug. “These kinds of events are important. We encourage everybody to come out and see family farming at its best.”After being treated to an all-Ontario breakfast featuring eggs, pancakes, fruit, sausage and more, visitors will be able to tour the farm. Interactive stops around the farm will include many displays, activities and exhibits that showcase other types of farms in Ontario.There will also be more than 100 Ontario farmers on hand to answer guests’ questions about food and farming.This event will run from 9:00 am until 1:00 pm, with breakfast being served until 11:30 a.m. Farm tours wrap up by 1:00 p.m. The event is free, though preregistration is required. The first 2,000 visitors are guaranteed breakfast.Farm & Food Care Ontario is again looking for those willing to share their time and passion for local food. Approximately 120 volunteers are needed on the day of the event.The event is supported by many national, provincial and regional farm organizations and agri-businesses. Breakfast tickets can be obtained by visiting www.FarmFoodCareON.org.Event Details: Date: September 16, 2017; 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.Cost: FREE; Complimentary breakfast tickets must be reserved online at www.FarmFoodCareON.org.Location: 7761 Road 147, Listowel, ON Parking: Available at the farm.Other notes: The farm is wheelchair accessible.Pets (excluding service dogs) are not allowed on the farm.
July 5, 2017, Shedden, Ont. - Farm & Food Care Ontario's latest Breakfast on the Farm event, held at Donkers' Family Farm in Shedden on June 24, was another enormous success.With 200 volunteers, 40 sponsors, 35 exhibitors and 2,500 farm visitors, it was by far the largest event to date.Overall, 180 kilograms of buttermilk pancake mix, 5,800 slices of bacon, 1,512 cartons of milk, 200 litres of apple cider, 9,120 eggs and 24 litres of maple syrup were consumed. Leftover foodstuffs were donated to the St. Thomas-Elgin Food Bank.
June 27, Chilliwack, B.C. - The recent news reports of chicken catchers caught on video abusing birds at a Chilliwack broiler farm prompted disgust across the country and within the agriculture industry.The Chicken Farmers of Canada called the Mercy for Animals undercover footage “shocking and reprehensible,” and the company at the centre of the allegations said they were “sickened” by the images.But what about the good things that go on at farms across the Fraser Valley?One local farmer put out a request for the media to report on the positive side of his business. Ron Neels runs Corona Farms in Rosedale, and he sent photos of his two-year-old son Scott happily hanging out with about 17,000 content-looking broiler chickens in his barn. READ MORE
June 14, 2017, Montague, P.E.I. - 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.
November 29, 2017, Regina, Sask. - Saskatchewan has announced amendments to the province's Animal Protection Act, which the government suggests will give it more teeth.Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart announced the changes Monday and they include broadening the definition of animal distress and giving animal protection officers the ability to issue corrective action orders.It will also expand the locations animal protection workers can inspect to include boarding kennels and other places where services for animals are provided.Under the amendments, veterinarians must report suspected cases of animal cruelty.''It's bound to keep those who operate slaughterhouses and kennels on their toes a bit and they'll make sure they're in compliance with the Act at all times,'' Stewart told reporters at the legislature Monday.Kaley Pugh of Animal Protection Services Saskatchewan said the amendments will make it possible to investigate outside of normal hunting and trapping procedures.She said the act was very vague before, so her group is pleased with the amendments.''Animals that are kept in unsanitary conditions will now be considered distressed, animals that require protection from injurious heat or cold will be defined as distressed, so those are improvements that are significant for us,'' Pugh said.Stewart said the amendments will bring Saskatchewan's legislation in line with other jurisdictions, as well as provide clear direction for enforcement agencies.Calls for tougher regulations in the province came last year after 14 dogs died of heat stroke and dehydration when a rooftop heating unit malfunctioned at a facility in Saskatoon.The owner of the kennel, Dave Deplaedt, pleaded guilty to negligence under the Animal Protection Act and his business was fined $14,000, plus a victim surcharge of $5,600.The president of the Saskatchewan Veterinary Medical Association, Dr. Lesley Sawa, said the organization was pleased to see mandatory veterinary reporting of animal neglect and abuse included in the amendments, noting the organization had requested it.''Updating the Animal Protection Act will go a long way in helping ensure the health and welfare of animals across the province,'' Sawa said in a news release.Pugh said some vets have been reluctant to report suspected abuse in the past.''They were worried about the effect on their businesses prior to this. They didn't want to get in trouble with their clients if they did have something they wanted to report,'' she said.
Numerous major North American food makers, restaurants and retailers have formed a united front committed to sourcing only cage-free eggs by 2025. That being the case, it seems inevitable that most producers will shy away from enriched housing as the industry phases out conventional cages.
November 7, 2017, Geneva, Switzerland – The World Health Organizations (WHO) is recommending that farmers and the food industry stop using antibiotics routinely to promote growth and prevent disease in healthy animals.The new WHO recommendations aim to help preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics that are important for human medicine by reducing their unnecessary use in animals. In some countries, approximately 80% of total consumption of medically important antibiotics is in the animal sector, largely for growth promotion in healthy animals.Over-use and misuse of antibiotics in animals and humans is contributing to the rising threat of antibiotic resistance. Some types of bacteria that cause serious infections in humans have already developed resistance to most or all of the available treatments, and there are very few promising options in the research pipeline.“A lack of effective antibiotics is as serious a security threat as a sudden and deadly disease outbreak,” Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of WHO, said in a statement. “Strong, sustained action across all sectors is vital if we are to turn back the tide of antimicrobial resistance and keep the world safe."A systematic review published recently in The Lancet Planetary Health found that interventions that restrict antibiotic use in food-producing animals reduced antibiotic-resistant bacteria in these animals by up to 39%. This research directly informed the development of WHO’s new guidelines. WHO strongly recommends an overall reduction in the use of all classes of medically important antibiotics in food-producing animals, including complete restriction of these antibiotics for growth promotion and disease prevention without diagnosis. Healthy animals should only receive antibiotics to prevent disease if it has been diagnosed in other animals in the same flock, herd, or fish population.Where possible, sick animals should be tested to determine the most effective and prudent antibiotic to treat their specific infection. Antibiotics used in animals should be selected from those WHO has listed as being “least important” to human health, and not from those classified as “highest priority critically important”. These antibiotics are often the last line, or one of limited treatments, available to treat serious bacterial infections in humans.“Scientific evidence demonstrates that overuse of antibiotics in animals can contribute to the emergence of antibiotic resistance,” says Dr Kazuaki Miyagishima, Director of the Department of Food Safety and Zoonoses at WHO. “The volume of antibiotics used in animals is continuing to increase worldwide, driven by a growing demand for foods of animal origin, often produced through intensive animal husbandry.”Many countries have already taken action to reduce the use of antibiotics in food-producing animals. For example, since 2006, the European Union has banned the use of antibiotics for growth promotion. Consumers are also driving the demand for meat raised without routine use of antibiotics, with some major food chains adopting “antibiotic-free” policies for their meat supplies. Alternative options to using antibiotics for disease prevention in animals include improving hygiene, better use of vaccination, and changes in animal housing and husbandry practices. WHO's Guidelines on use of medically important antimicrobials in food-producing animals build on decades of expert reports and evaluations of the role of agricultural antibiotic use in the increasing threat of antibiotic resistance. They contribute directly to the aims of the Global action plan on antimicrobial resistance adopted by the World Health Assembly in 2015 and the Declaration of the High-Level Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on Antimicrobial Resistance, adopted in 2016.
October 3, 2017, Toronto, Ont. – Residents in some Toronto neighbourhoods will be allowed to keep chickens in their backyards under a pilot project approved today by city council.The pilot will run in four city wards over the next three years with an interim review in 18 months.Residents can keep up to four chickens – no roosters are permitted – and must register with the city.Chickens would not be allowed in apartment buildings, condominiums or properties without sufficient outdoor space.Opponents of the pilot have argued it will generate complaints and tie up the city's bylaw enforcement officers.Several municipalities in Ontario, including Kingston, Brampton, Niagara Falls and Caledon, all allow residents to keep chickens in backyard coops.
I was determined to find a memorable way to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, being such a special milestone. What better venue to show my pride at than at the Toronto Blue Jays game, I thought. Luckily, my family and I were able to land some nice seats along the first baseline.The party didn’t disappoint. (Though the home team getting trounced 7-1 dampened the mood a bit. Also, the Boston Red Sox wore Fourth of July uniforms on Canada Day for some reason – one player even warmed up in stars and stripes boxers. But I digress…)I couldn’t help but feel patriotic watching dozens of Canadian soldiers unveil a massive version of our flag for the national anthem. But by far the most moving moment was watching a World War II vet rise from his wheelchair to throw the first pitch. Indeed, while the team came up short on the field, the organization did an excellent job of stirring up patriotism.Now, Canadian Poultry and our colleagues at Annex Business Media are looking to do the same. We’re dedicating a week to honouring agriculture and farmer contributions to this country. Dubbed Ag150, every day for five days starting September 18 we’ll look back at the issues that have shaped Canadian farming, including poultry production, as well as what may lie ahead.We’ll detail agriculture’s most significant milestones, profile some of our longest-standing barns, including a century-plus old egg operation that’s still thriving, and delve into scientific and technological advances that will shape production for years to come. We’ll also have numerous leaders from across the spectrum reflect on their industry’s past, present and future as part of our coverage. On that note, one of the most informative discussions I’ve had during my time with Canadian Poultry was with Robin Horel, president at Canadian Poultry & Egg Processors Council.As the leader of an organization representing members in all four commodity groups, including chickens, turkeys, eggs and hatching eggs, Horel has a unique grasp of the wide range of issues facing poultry as a whole. During our interview, the full version of which will be available here, he outlined the distinct issues each sector faces.What’s more, Horel singled out the biggest challenge he sees all poultry groups sharing for years to come: aggressive animal activism. “They’re turning their attention away from communicating with consumers towards blackmailing customers and holding their brands for ransom,” he said. Such tactics have been effective in convincing retailers and food service companies to adopt policies that Horel feels lack scientific backing. For instance, in his opinion demanding that egg producers go “cage-free” will do nothing to improve animal welfare, food safety or nutrition but will drive up costs.That said, he sees a better way forward for poultry. “I think that industry’s got a good story to tell and it needs to revolve around sustainability,” he says, citing the push for slow growing broilers as an example. “You can produce a chicken that grows in double the amount of time a current chickens grows but to do that you’ll need twice as many resources, twice as many barns and almost twice as much feed… So I think our story is a good one.”Be sure to visit Ag150.ca for our can’t-miss coverage – you’ll even have a chance to win an iPad!
July 20, 2017, Vittoria, Ont. - Norfolk’s hamlets soon may be known for their omelettes.In a piece of after-the-fact fine-tuning this week, Norfolk council modified its position on urban chickens in the county.Keeping chickens and other livestock within the boundaries of Norfolk’s urban centres continues to be forbidden. However – as of this week -- anyone who wants to keep a half-dozen chickens in their backyard can do so in any of the county’s 23 hamlet areas.Norfolk council made the adjustment after learning many Mennonite families in hamlet areas of west Norfolk already have a coop in the backyard. There seems to be no problem with this arrangement and council wants to leave well-enough alone. READ MORE
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.
When you think about the connection between chickens and history you might think about how feed efficiency has increased or how birds have changed through genetic selection. But for Benoît Fontaine, his version of the connection of poultry to history goes a lot deeper than that.Rooted in historyFontaine, a second-generation turkey and chicken producer, was at one point in his career a Canadian history teacher. For 10 years after graduating from the Université du Québec à Montréal in 1998, he taught high school, rising to become the principal for two years while still actively farming.This Quebec poultry producer is now the chair of the Chicken Farmers of Canada (CFC), elected in November 2016, only the second chair to hail from La Belle Province.Now, whether he’s at a poultry industry gathering or talking to politicians, he is able to connect by talking history and entertaining. As a history buff, he manages to find a local story to tell wherever he goes.“Do you know why the carpets in the House of Commons are green?” he asked. The green carpet is the same as that used in the House of Commons in England for over 300 years, representing the colour of fields; a red carpet would symbolize royal power. “The MP’s appreciate this information,” Fontaine says.Youth on the farmThat green carpet is a long way from his farm where he grew up in St-Ignace de Stanbridge. Benoît’s chores after getting off the school bus included feeding and watering turkeys at their home farm, cultivating an appreciation of both birds and work involved with farming. His parents had been raising turkeys since 1970. Thus, when he later found himself with an empty barn and an opportunity to obtain quota it was an easy decision to go ahead.Thriving businessWhen Fontaine stepped down from his teaching job he began farming full time. Ferme Avicole B. Fontaine Inc. is nestled in the winery region close to Lac Champlain, an area Fontaine claims is the warmest spot in Quebec. One farm in Notre-Dame de Stanbridge, that Fontaine purchased in 2005, sits so close to the American border that he can see the U.S. from his window; another farm, purchased in 2010, is in nearby Pike River.With the help of seven employees he will produce 1.8 million chickens per year and one million kilograms of turkey in a total of eight three-storey barns. With no family of his own, Fontaine relies on one 24-year-old manager, Pascal Monnier, to look after the farm while he’s on the road. “He has his diploma in agriculture and has his own quota,” says Fontaine, who rests easy knowing that the farm is in good hands while he may spend up to 150 nights a year away from home as the CFC chair. View the embedded image gallery online at: https://www.canadianpoultrymag.com/index.php?option=com_k2&Itemid=34&lang=en&layout=latest&view=latest#sigProGalleriade0c60cfa8 GlobetrotterThat may seem like a lot of time to spend on the road, but Fontaine does enjoy travelling. In addition to the CFC miles, this year he will visit Finland; last year it was Kenya for the World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference, where he got to visit the house used in the filming of Out of Africa. Before that it was Hawaii on Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) business, allowing him to visit Pearl Harbor, an experience that helped him to understand the involvement of the U.S. in World War II. “Everything is linked with history,” says Fontaine, who is already eyeing up retirement trips that will involve the study of human history.Back at home Fontaine will talk to his parents, his mentors, Marcel Fontaine and Lucille Gagné, once a week. Their answers will guide him in questions of what to say or not to say or how to manage the farm. As he humbly admits, “You cannot buy experience. I have some, but my father has more.”The farm issues they both face have changed, with Fontaine listing animal welfare along with the new ways of rearing chickens, with the ‘new norms’ involving issues such as changing bird density or new water systems.Industry engagementHis rise through the ranks of industry boards began six months after he bought his first quota, starting with his local district, moving quickly through to first vice-chair, then provincially to second vice-chair in 2012. Fontaine has been heavily involved in the Union des producteurs agricoles since 1999 and has served on both CFC’s policy and production committees.Now, as CFC chair, he knows he must remain neutral, speaking on behalf of all Canadians, not just Quebec. He also knows that policy discussions will always go down better with a good story. Fontaine’s command of the English language is already good but he continues to improve through taking courses. With his teaching background he brings communication and teamwork skills to his board positions; his two years as a school principal taught him leadership skills and how to bring forth new ideas with an open mind and an open ear.At the national board level, he sees free trade as the number one issue. Fontaine points to 14 free trade agreements that have already been signed with 51 countries as proof that supply management is stronger than ever. “They haven’t touched supply management yet; even with the TPP we got a great deal. The government was listening to us.”As he looks to the future he predicts the greatest challenge will be for chicken to remain a Canadian favourite with consumers. With Olympic enthusiasm, he says he wants poultry to remain on the top step of the podium. “Keep the flame burning; keep the love of Canadian products. As long as we stay there, we succeed.”
July 31, 2017, Winnipeg, Man. - Direct Farm Manitoba is pleased with a ruling by the Manitoba Farm Products Marketing Council (MFPMC) earlier this month that orders Manitoba Chicken Producers (MCP) to not charge extra administrative fees for a decade among those participating in its new specialty chicken quota system.DFM co-ordinated an appeal on behalf of three specialty chicken producers who would have been affected by the additional expense.DFM voiced numerous concerns with MCP’s new program after it was rolled out last year, but ultimately launched an appeal on the specific grounds that the program’s new fees for participation would force those already raising specialty chicken to either pay more to keep producing, or produce less. READ MORE
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.
August 29, 2017, U.S. - Chlorinated chicken– or chlorine-washed chicken – simply means that chicken was rinsed with chlorinated water; chlorine is not present in the meat. Just as chlorine helps make drinking water safe, it can help remove potentially harmful bacteria from raw chicken.Numerous studies and research have confirmed that the use of chlorinated water to chill and clean chicken is safe and effective. Chlorine-washed chicken does not pose any human health concerns and it is not present in the final product.Hypochlorus (i.e. chlorine) is a common disinfectant used in water treatment and food processing worldwide. Although it is proven safe, a lot of U.S. plants have moved away from chlorinated water in their chilling systems and rinses, opting for alternatives.The National Chicken Council would estimate that chlorine is used in chilling systems and rinses in about 20-25 per cent of processing plants in the U.S., as a lot of U.S. plants have moved away from its use. Most of the chlorine that is used in the industry is used for cleaning and sanitizing processing equipment.All chicken produced in the U.S. is closely monitored and inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). READ MORE
July 7, 2017 - Given the high value of chicken breast meat in many markets, poultry processors need to ensure that any factors that may reduce product quality are thoroughly addressed.Issues affecting breast meat quality can arise pre-slaughter and during processing, and there are several key areas that need to be properly functioning if losses are to be minimized. Extreme temperatures during transport and while waiting at the plant pre-slaughter can result in dehydration and other metabolic conditions, affecting the health and survival rate of birds, and also meat quality. READ MORE
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
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PIC Science in the PubMon Jan 22, 2018
Eastern Ontario Poultry ConferenceThu Jan 25, 2018
Pacific Agriculture ShowThu Jan 25, 2018
International Poultry Scientific ForumMon Jan 29, 2018
International Production and Processing ExpoTue Jan 30, 2018