Business & Policy

Poultry groups have called it a giveaway, failure and deeply concerning. The reviews are in for the latest version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement. They aren’t good.
Turkey Farmers of Canada (TFC) is deeply troubled and concerned about the signing of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).“We believe this deal will harm the turkey sector,” said TFC chair Mark Davies. “There was no need to maintain the market access levels of the original TPP, which were made in response to demands by the U.S., which is no longer part of the agreement.”After the U.S. pulled out from the original Trans-Pacific Partnership, the remaining 11 member countries agreed on January 23, 2018 to a revised trade agreement in principle. The agreement is scheduled to officially be signed in early March 2018.This deal will increase import access to the Canadian turkey market by 71 per cent, representing $270 million in lost farm cash receipts over the next 19 years, and a farm output loss of at least 4.5 per cent.“Farmers’ livelihoods will be impacted by corresponding farm income losses, without even taking into account downward pressure on farm prices or the market growth Canadian farmers will lose to exporters,” said Davies. “Total economic activity losses in the order of $111 million per year will occur throughout the value-chain.”“We will be losing family farms, at a time when 90 per cent of Canadians want turkey produced in Canada according to a 2017 survey,” Davies noted. “The original TPP agreement came with commitments to mitigation and remedies for border irritants. We look forward to working with the government to follow through on these commitments and work on solutions tailored to our sector.”
January 26, 2018, Montreal, Que. – A group of pro-NAFTA American farmers descended on Montreal on Friday and expressed cautious optimism that a deal will be reached, despite unresolved issues at the negotiating table that include Canada's supply management system.U.S. President Donald Trump has described Canada's protectionist policies for dairy, poultry and eggs as unfair, and people close to the NAFTA talks have indicated that more access to Canadian dairy market is a key American demand.As the sixth round of negotiations continued at a nearby hotel, member of Farmers for Free Trade stressed the importance of exports to American producers and expressed hope for a quick resolution on the file.Former chief U.S. agriculture negotiator Darci Vetter said that while the highly protected agriculture sector is always contentious, other recent free-trade agreements have shown the issue isn't insurmountable.Canada's free-trade deal with the European Union and the recently revised Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement have showed the country is willing to compromise on the sacred cow of supply management, she said.''What used to be the uncrossable barrier of putting dairy in a trade agreement was crossed with the agreement with the EU and certainly the TPP package,'' Vetter said in an interview following a press briefing at a downtown hotel.''So there are examples this can be done. The question is how, at what level, and over what period of time.''The revised TPP deal struck on Tuesday included a concession on the supply-managed dairy sector, which is to be opened up by 3.25 per cent to foreign competition.Vetter, a consultant for Farmers for Free Trade, said it's ''not unreasonable'' that the United States would ask for access to the dairy market as part of a revised NAFTA.She added that negotiators for all sides are very familiar with each other's positions and what is possible.''Hopefully the negotiators will have a pragmatic discussion about how we get there, understanding the political pressure is high,'' she said.Kansas cattle and hog farmer Terry Nelson said Trump's recent comments to CNBC, where the president suggested the United States might enter the TPP if it got a ''better deal,'' are a reason for optimism and a sign Trump has been listening to his pro-trade agriculture secretary, Sonny Perdue.''We've got a lot of faith in President Trump being willing to listen to agriculture,'' Nelson said. ''I know Secretary Perdue has had a lot of conversations that have finally been acknowledged and...I think we're going to be all right.''All the members of the group present at the meeting stressed the importance of bending Trump's ear to the needs of the agriculture sector and its importance to his conservative rural base.They also pushed for a quick resolution to the talks, noting that the uncertainty of the protracted negotiating process could harm the export-dependent sector.''We don't know quite where the end of the road is or where it will be...but it will probably put a little drag on exports of both meat and grain,'' Nelson said.The NAFTA negotiations are scheduled to conclude Monday.
January 25, 2018, Ottawa, Ont. – Egg Farmers of Canada (EFC) has weighed in on Tuesday’s Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) announcement.In a press release, the organization said it was disappointed with the deal, describing it as a failure to protect the future of Canada's egg farms.EFC added it also represents a hit on Canadian consumers.“The outcome of the CPTPP agreement means difficult challenges for Canada's egg farmers, their communities and many farms and businesses they support,” EFC chairman Roger Pelissero said.Once fully implemented, Canadian egg farmers will have lost the right to produce close to 291 million dozen eggs, with an additional 19 million dozen eggs added each year after the implementation phase.The total value of the trade deal represents close to $1 billion dollars in lost farm family income.“Our farmers make a sizeable contribution to Canada's food system, help keep rural communities vibrant and feed urban consumers' appetite for locally produced food. The concessions under the CPTPP impact the livelihood of Canada's more than 1,000 egg farm families,” Pelissero added.EFC recognized the CPTPP as an opportunity for the Canadian economy overall.However, it added there was little incentive for Canada to give away the market access concessions that were originally agreed to in October 2015 when the U.S. was still a part of the deal.Given the seriousness of the CPTPP outcome, EFC urged the government to expedite work on mitigation measures.In concluding its statement, EFC said, “We must work side by side to address the impact this will have on our farmers, on our consumers and our ability to produce and deliver the Canadian products they expect, need and enjoy.”
January 24, 2018, Ottawa, Ont. – Chicken Farmers of Canada has slammed the new Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) agreement, framing it as a giveaway.The deal includes concessions on market access for chicken products that were granted in the original Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in response to U.S. demands.Given that the U.S. has since withdrawn from the TPP, those concessions should have been taken off the table, the organization said in a press release.CFC said this is especially true since none of the other partners have provided anything in exchange for this increased access to the Canadian chicken market.The new CPTPP access represents an additional 2.1 per cent of the Canadian production that will be imported, in addition to Canada's existing commitments of 7.5 per cent for a total of 9.6 per cent.“It is more important than ever that the government start closing the loopholes and implementing the programs that were previously promised when the TPP was first concluded,” said Benoît Fontaine, chair of Chicken Farmers of Canada.He was referring to commitments made in October 2015 to deliver the support programs and implement the anti-circumvention measures relating to chicken.These include mislabeled broiler chicken imported as spent fowl, the addition of sauce to circumvent import quotas and excluding supply-managed products from DRP (duties relief program) to stop the loopholes announced at the conclusion of the original agreement.Together, the circumventions have resulted in annual losses of: Over $139 million in farm cash receipts 4,456 jobs $335.3 million to the GDP $11.9 million in tax revenues “Increased access to the Canadian chicken market, especially without gaining something in return, is going to impact jobs from coast to coast,” Fontaine said. “These programs will help lessen the damage being done by the giving away of our market access.”Fontaine added, “We need to make it clear that we have reached the limit of what we can give in any future negotiations. If the U.S. wants access to our market, for example, they are welcome to rejoin the CPTPP.”
January 24, 2018, Palestine, Texas/Mexico City - Workers at the Sanderson Farms plant in Palestine, Texas, are cutting up chickens for export to Mexico, a market that has become a pillar of the town’s economy and a key focus of the U.S. poultry sector. 
Many of you are aware that the Federal Government recently introduced tax legislation that affects farm business owners all over Canada. Because of the rapid way in which things progressed, there is a lot of confusion as to what legislation was proposed, modified, or simply dropped altogether.I have attempted to outline the “evolution” of these tax changes in this article, from early 2017 to where we are today.I wish I could tell you that the tax changes create a better tax environment for business owners, but in my opinion the opposite is true – business owners now face more complexities and uncertainties then ever in managing their tax affairs and trying to comply with tax legislation.On that positive note, let us start with a quick history lesson:Background/TimelineMarch 22, 2017 – Budget 2017Finance signals its intention to address specific tax planning strategies employed by business owners.July 18, 2017 – Finance releases the ProposalsFinance releases the consultation paper, and unexpected draft legislation and explanatory notes (“the Proposals”).The Proposals target the following strategies: Income splitting (“Income Splitting Proposals”): Income splitting is redirecting taxable income between the family so that the family “unit” pays the least amount of income tax. This includes allowing more than one family member to access the Enhanced Capital Gains Exemption (ECGE). Private corporations investing in passive assets (“Passive Investment Proposals”): Canadian-controlled private corporations carrying on an active business in Canada (which includes farming) have the ability to pay a low rate of tax on the first $500,000 of corporate business profits. Corporations can invest the after-tax business profits in rental property, stocks, bonds, etc., and delay triggering personal tax until some later date. Surplus stripping (“Surplus Stripping Proposals”): Converting what would otherwise be a taxable dividend from a company to a capital gain, which are currently taxed at lower rates. July 19, 2017 – October 2, 2017 – Reaction to the ProposalsOutrage within the business and tax community ensues.The business and tax community identify a significant number of issues with the Proposals, including but not limited to:Income Splitting Proposals: Too complicated for business owners, let alone professional tax advisors, to understand, increasing tax compliance costs. Significant concern that the Proposals will result in CRA challenges to what should be a relatively simple business decision, i.e. how much can I pay my family members and myself. The cost of incorrectly applying these rules is significant – income is taxed at the highest marginal tax rate for the province of residency. In Ontario, this can be as high as 54%. Farmers and their family members may not be able to access their ECGE. Passive Investment Proposals: Business owners will pay extremely high rates of tax on investment income earned in a corporation and paid out to the owner as a dividend. In some cases, the rate of tax could be as high as 73%. The sale of land or quota within a corporation, or the rental of land owned by a corporation, is treated as investment income, which would specifically affect farmers. Surplus Stripping Proposals: Estates could face significantly larger tax burdens if a business owner passes away. Tax costs to transition incorporated businesses to the next generation increase significantly, providing a tax incentive to sell the business “outside” the family. October 16, 2017 – October 19, 2017 – Finance Takes a Step BackFinance makes a number of significant announcements regarding the Proposals: October 16, 2017: Finance announces it intends to proceed with the Income Splitting Proposals, however They intend to simplify them; and Restrictions on the ECGE will be dropped altogether. October 16, 2017: Finance announces it will reduce the small business tax rate to 10% effective January 1, 2018 and to 9% effective January 1, 2019. This affects CCPC’s carrying on an active business in Canada. This announcement is a surprise, albeit a welcome one. October 18, 2017: Finance announces it intends to proceed with the Passive Investment Proposals, however current investments will be “protected” from the new rules, as well as corporations earning less than $50,000 of investment income in any given year. October 19, 2017: Finance announces it is going to drop the Surplus Stripping Proposals altogether. December 13, 2017 – Finance releases “Version 2” of the Income Splitting ProposalsThe revised Income Splitting Proposals are simplified, and a number of exclusions to the rules are introduced.The Income Splitting Proposals are to be effective January 1, 2018.February 27, 2018 – Budget 2018Finance releases draft legislation regarding the Passive Investment Proposals.These rules are simpler and less complicated compared to what Finance was originally proposing.March 27, 2018 – Bill C74 – Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1 (March 27, 2018)“Version 3” of the Income Splitting Proposals as well as the Passive Investment Proposals are introduced in this Bill.Where are We Now?Income Splitting ProposalsWe are in a completely different world now when it comes to income splitting.A family business carried on through a corporation, partnership, or trust must consider the new rules when any family member is paid from that business.Generally speaking, if you pay a family member income from a family business, that income will attract the highest marginal tax rate for your province. This concept is known as “tax on split income,” or TOSI.Thankfully, there are exceptions to the TOSI rules. Some of the more notable ones are as follows: TOSI does not apply to a wage or salary – which have always been subject to a “reasonability” requirement; TOSI does not apply to income from an “excluded business” – this exception looks at the level of involvement of the family member in the business, both in the current year and throughout the history of the business; TOSI does not apply to income from “excluded shares” – this exception is only relevant for incorporated businesses, and looks at the nature of the business being carried on in the company, the source of its income, as well as the type and number of shares owned; and TOSI does not apply to a capital gain from the disposition of “qualified farm property,” which can include shares of a family farm corporation, however you still have to be careful if a minor shareholder is involved. There are other exceptions to TOSI as well which might be relevant for your situation.Passive Investment ProposalsEffective January 1, 2019, if a corporation earns in excess of $50,000 of investment income in the prior year, access to the low small business tax rate in the next year is affected.This will apply to the corporation earning the investment income, as well as any other corporations “associated” with that corporation (essentially a group of corporations with common control/shareholders).“Investment income” will not include the sale of assets that are used in an active business, such as farmland or quota.Next StepsConsult with your tax advisor immediately to: Determine the impact of the Income Splitting Proposals on the current business structure/remuneration plan for family members; Consider the impact of the Passive Investment Proposals and whether access to the low small business tax rate is affected, assuming your business is incorporated; and Determine whether any planning or restructuring is required because of these new rules. In the meantime, we anxiously await more direction from Finance and CRA on many of the issues, uncertainties, and complexities relating to the legislation in its current form.
Canada is a leading producer of high-quality, safe agricultural and food products. Agriculture is a major contributor to Canada's economy, and the sector is expected to prosper throughout 2018. A growing world population, the rise in disposable income in developing nations, and increasing trade in farm products present opportunities to further grow the Canadian agriculture sector, creating more jobs for the middle class.Canadian exports of agriculture, agri-food, fish and seafood to all countries in 2017 rose to $64.6 billion, a $2 billion increase from 2016 exports. Canada is the world's fifth highest total exporter (by value) of agricultural and food commodities. Maintaining and enhancing the strength of our exports is vital to achieving the Government of Canada's trade target of growing agriculture and food exports to $75 billion by 2025.Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada recently released the 2018 Canadian Agricultural Outlook with analysis on the economic state of the agriculture and food sector. The Outlook report provides a forecast of farm income for 2017 and 2018, and looks ahead to longer-term trends that could impact the agriculture sector.According to the report, Canada's producers are forecast to see record farm income levels in 2017 and near-record levels in 2018. Crop and livestock receipts are both set to increase in 2017 and 2018. Net cash income is forecast to reach a record level in 2017 and remain high in 2018. At the same time, continued growth in asset values is expected to raise average farm net worth to $3.16 million by 2018.Budget 2018 takes the next steps towards building a gender equal, competitive, sustainable and fair Canada – where science and innovation spur economic growth.Budget 2018 contains many initiatives that will build on the ambitious growth agenda for agriculture set out in Budget 2017, which included many significant ongoing investments to help our farm families and agri-food processors excel, including the $3 billion federal-provincial-territorial agricultural policy framework, the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, $950 million Innovation Supercluster Initiative including the Protein Industries Supercluster, $1.26 billion Strategic Innovation Fund, $70 million for agricultural science, and $2 billion in rural infrastructure.Together, these investments will build on the Government of Canada's strong agenda for agriculture and help ensure Canada's agriculture and agri-food sector remains a leader in job creation and innovation, and a continued engine of economic growth."Strong international demand for Canada's safe, high-quality agricultural products has helped make the sector a key driver of the economy. The Government of Canada is working hard to ensure farmers and the agriculture and food system as a whole, are prepared to meet global needs, helping to strengthen the middle class and keep Canada on the path to prosperity," said Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.
Canada's agriculture and food system is a leading producer of high-quality, safe products and a key driver of the country's economic growth. The Government of Canada understands the importance of this sector in creating good, middle-class jobs, while growing the economy, and is committed to working with farmers, ranchers and processors to ensure its continued innovation, growth and prosperity.April 1st marked the official launch of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a progressive $3-billion commitment that will help chart the course for government investments in the sector over the next five years. The Partnership aims to continue to help the sector grow trade, advance innovation while maintaining and strengthening public confidence in the food system, and increase its diversity.Federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) governments have been working collaboratively since 2016 to develop the next agricultural policy framework, the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. FPT governments consulted with a wide range of stakeholders, including producers, processors, indigenous communities, women, youth, and small and emerging sectors to ensure the Partnership was focused on the issues that matter most to them.In addition, under the Partnership, business risk management (BRM) programs will continue to help producers manage significant risks that threaten the viability of their farm and are beyond their capacity to manage.Ministers of Agriculture will convene in Vancouver this July for the Annual Meeting of Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers of Agriculture."I am incredibly proud to announce that the Canadian Agricultural Partnership has officially launched and all that it promises for our great sector. Our goal is to help Canadian farmers, ranchers and processors compete successfully in markets at home and around the globe, through this strong collaboration between provincial, territorial and federal governments," said Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
Celebrating 25 years while pursuing opportunities to raise the bar. This was the focus of a broad contingent of livestock industry and farm animal care community participants who came together for the Livestock Care Conference, March 14-15 in Olds, hosted by Alberta Farm Animal Care (AFAC).AFAC marks its 25th anniversary in 2018 as an organization representing producers and others in the farm animal care community. AFAC works with this community to promote responsible farm animal care through various education, extension, research and communication activities. The Livestock Care Conference is AFAC’s signature annual event, offering special sessions and a main speaker agenda on important farm animal care topics.The 2018 conference was attended by over 200 participants, including a strong presence of 49 students, and was headlined by featured speaker Dr. Temple Grandin, the world-renowned livestock welfare and handling expert. The event also included presentation of AFAC Awards of Distinction. The award for communication went to the East Olds Dairy Farmers group for its Breakfast on the Dairy Farm initiative. The award for leadership went to Lakeland College for its high standards and ongoing commitment to animal welfare.“We have come a long way over 25 years,” says Grandin, a professor of animal science at Colorado State University. “Animal welfare and handling have greatly improved. In many cases we have in fact seen huge improvements. We have done better at telling our story but still not enough people know about it. We need to keep communicating with the public about the good things that have been done.”Welcome messages at the conference celebrated the past while looking toward the future, by featuring Susan Church, the first and longtime manager of AFAC, followed by current AFAC Executive Director Annemarie Pedersen. “I am so proud to have been a part of this progressive and action-based organization,” says Church. “The future is bright as we look forward to another 25 years and beyond for AFAC.”Progress in farm animal care continues as a pivotal focus for industry progress and outreach, says Pedersen. “As we celebrate 25 years of AFAC, it’s a great time to take stock of where we are today and where we want to go in the future. It’s an exciting time to be in the livestock sector. As a group we have a real opportunity to do something important and special together.”The conference featured a Meet the Experts session connecting students with mentors, a Humane Handling Workshop, and an inaugural launch and feedback session for the new Livestock Welfare Engagement Project. Topics for the main speaker agenda also included “Pig Production: Changing Times and Changing Ways,” “Can Old School Farming be the Future of Food?” “Proactive Approach in the Poultry Industry,” “Cattle Research Panel: Progress in Beef, Dairy and Transportation,” “A Little Something to Ruminate on,” “Engaging the Public: How to Tell YOUR Story,” and more.Full details are available on the AFAC website, at www.afac.ab.ca, including conference photos and blog items.
This article was originally published on The Conversation, an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts. Disclosure information is available on the original site.
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
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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.
The chicken industry, along with foodservice and retail, has been in the sights of vegan activists. Their mission, it seems, is to misinform and manipulate Canadians about how we do our work.
Last year the industry saw an irksome trend endure. Global food companies, in response to pressure from deceptive activist groups, continued to roll out different poultry welfare policies.
Begin with the end in mind. This simple leadership mantra captures the essence of the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity (CCFI) research on understanding Canadians’ expectations regarding trust and transparency in our food and how it’s produced. Before investing millions in changing farm and food production practices or in efforts to communicate with the public, it’s important to have a solid understanding of public perceptions and concerns. To be most effective, this investment should be part of a long-term game plan with proactive, collaborative thinking.  
More than ever, Canadians are talking about what’s on their plate and how it gets there. That being the case, the rally cries for producers to speak up and join these conversations are growing. But why and what does it mean for you if you are so far removed from consumers?
What’s on consumer’s minds? Each year, the Center for Food Integrity (CFI) conducts trust research to take a deeper dive into what’s important to today’s consumer. It gives us crucial insights into how to continue to earn trust in food and agriculture on issues that matter most.
The Canadian poultry industry is facing pressure on animal welfare from a number of sources, including from vegan activist groups. Some of the most active have changed tactics and are pressuring our customers, retail and food service companies to adopt their demands or face significant pressure against their brands.  
How time flies – it’s been a year since two major fast food chains introduced all-day breakfast (ADB) in Canada.
There is hardly a month that goes by without a new story on cultured meat or plant-based products that look, smell, cook and taste just like meat. Commercialization of both types of foods is moving forward.
With the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiations on the table, there has been much concern that Canada’s supply management system will once again be on the chopping block. According to a recent survey conducted by the Angus Reid Institute, some Canadians think it should be.
January 22, 2018 – The “Brexit: getting the best deal for animals” report, produced by animal protection groups and brought together through Wildlife and Countryside Link and the UK Centre for Animal Law, includes a section on poultry within the animals in agriculture section.
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 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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