Business & Policy
The federal government says it plans to spend $1.75 billion by March without having said what the money is for, though at least some of the cash is likely to go to farmers hurt by new trade deals.The government remains tight-lipped about how it will use the rest of the ''non-announced'' spending it allowed for in last week's fall economic statement.In all, the government has made room for $9.5 billion worth of still-to-be-unveiled commitments over the next six years.A government source says some of that will go to dairy, egg and poultry producers, whose protected domestic markets were opened up to more foreign competition under new North American and Pacific Rim trade deals. The source, who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly, spoke on condition of anonymity.The fall statement said the government is still talking with farmers and processors about compensation for the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and the recently ratified Asia-Pacific trade pact known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).The negotiations will determine the size of the final package and how the money will be rolled out over the coming years.In 2016, the Liberal government dedicated $350 million to help dairy producers deal with the impacts of Canada's trade agreement with the European Union. The amount included a five-year, $250-million fund for milk producers and a second program worth $100 million for cheese-makers.The Liberals also have outstanding mandate commitments they will be looking to address before the 2019 election campaign and, looking further ahead, Ottawa is facing litigation related to Indigenous issues, including land claims. Both could draw on some of the money.Most of the yet-to-be announced funding has been dedicated to the later years of the projection, with $2.1 billion set aside for 2021-22, $1.85 billion for 2022-23 and nearly $2.8 billion for 2023-24.One possible use for the cash: national pharmacare.The governing Liberals have put together a group of advisers to consult Canadians and to explore options for a national program. The council is due to report in 2019, when the topic of pharmacare is likely to become an issue during the election campaign.A spokesman for Finance Minister Bill Morneau argued the list of the government's funding commitments in the fall update is comprehensive.But Pierre-Olivier Herbert noted some measures cannot be disclosed yet due to cabinet confidentiality or because ministers have yet to make decisions. Issues of national security, commercial sensitivity, litigation or certain matters related to trade agreements must also be kept under wraps, he said.''The net fiscal impact of these confidential or sensitive measures is rolled up and presented at an aggregate level and will be detailed in due time,'' Herbert wrote in an email.Thanks to the stronger economy, Morneau had more than $20 billion in extra fiscal room over the coming years to work with, compared to the forecasts in last February's budget.He chose to announce new initiatives – including billions of dollars worth of tax incentives for corporate Canada – that will use up all that space and then some, contributing to slightly larger annual deficits beginning next year.The document contained Ottawa's long-awaited plan to help the country compete with the U.S. for investment dollars. It came in response to major American tax and regulatory reforms that many in the business community warn have eliminated Canada's edge as an investment destination.The package includes new write-offs that are expected to lower federal revenues by about $14 billion over the next half-decade all by themselves.Peter DeVries, a former senior Finance Department official, said Morneau has now made spending commitments of nearly $33 billion over six years since the February budget. In comparison, he said the budget itself contained $20.3 billion worth of new measures, although the initiatives were aimed at a much-broader range of issues.''There's some big numbers in there,'' said DeVries, who writes articles about government finances and recently examined the fall statement.The next budget will serve as the Liberals' election platform, but DeVries wonders how the party will finance it.''Where are you going to find the money for that platform, unless you go into deficit even more or unless you believe that you've put aside sufficient reserves in the framework to manage it?'' he said. ''It doesn't look like they've done that, except for that one line that says (non-announced measures).''The fall update also contains no timeline to eliminate the Liberals' shortfalls, which are now projected to be higher than $18 billion in each of the next couple of years.The opposition Conservatives and some economists have criticized the Liberals for not providing a date to balance the budget. There are warnings the government could face big fiscal challenges when the next economic downturn arrives.After the 2015 election, the Trudeau government abandoned vows to run yearly shortfalls of no more than $10 billion and to balance the books by 2019.Instead, it has focused on reducing the net debt-to-GDP ratio – a measure of how burdensome the national debt is – each year.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau isn't ruling out the possibility that Canada will ratify its new North American trade deal with the United States and Mexico even if U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum exports are still in place.In an interview with CNN, portions of which are airing as U.S. voters cast ballots in pivotal midterm elections, Trudeau says Canada still wants the tariffs lifted before the new version of NAFTA goes into effect.But when asked if he trusts U.S. President Donald Trump to honour the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, Trudeau says his father taught him to trust Canadians.He says it was Pierre Trudeau's way of telling him that he didn't have to scare or pander to voters in Canada, since they are capable of making intelligent, rational choices.Pressed on the question of whether he trusts Trump, Trudeau says he respects the fact that every leader has a different approach to the job of defending their country's interests.Trump is using national security grounds to justify tariffs of 10 per cent on aluminum produced outside the U.S. and 25 per cent on steel, and has not lifted his threat to impose a similar 25 per cent tariff on autos.''What my father taught me was to trust Canadians,'' Trudeau said when asked whether the elder Trudeau's advice to ''trust people'' would apply to the U.S. president.''It was a way of looking at the electorate as saying you don't have to dumb it down for them, you don't have to scare them into this or that - you can actually treat people like intelligent, rational actors and they will rise to the occasion.''Trudeau was pressed on whether he trusts Trump to stand by the terms of the USMCA.''Every leader has the job of sticking up for their own country, and they will do it in their own ways,'' he said.''I respect the fact that people have different approaches to it. My approach is to trust Canadians and deal in a way that is direct with other leaders.''
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lawrence MacAulay, announced this week a new working group comprised of poultry and egg farmers and processors.While informal engagement has already begun with the poultry and egg sector, the working group brings together officials from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, representatives from national poultry and egg organizations and associations, as well as regional representatives.The working group will collaborate to develop strategies to fully and fairly support farmers and processors to help them adjust to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).It will also discuss support to reflect the impact of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).In addition to discussing impacts of the trade agreements in the short term, the working group will also chart a path forward to help the poultry and egg sectors innovate and remain an important source of jobs and economic growth for future generations.Supporting expertise to the working group may also include academic leaders, as well as industry and financial experts, as necessary.The federal government will engage with provincial and territorial governments on an ongoing basis throughout the collaboration process.
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.
The International Egg Commission and its members support, and will promote, the responsible use of all antimicrobials to allow for the long-term safe production of eggs, safeguarding the availability of eggs and egg products for the world’s consumers.
Growing interest in the concept and practice of sustainable sourcing is redefining relationships and expectations in the agri-food landscape. Sustainable sourcing, simply put, refers to procurement of goods or services subject to their meeting a specified set of socio-economic, animal welfare and environmental sustainability criteria.
Canadian farmers are leaders in producing safe, high-quality agricultural and food products for Canadians and people around the world. The sector is a major driver in creating good, middle-class jobs, and is one of Canada's key growth industries.
I had the privilege of visiting numerous barns this summer, and lugged my video equipment with me to document my travels. I met many passionate farmers doing innovative things. People like Ryan Kuntze, a Stratford, Ont.-based broiler producer and self-described peat moss guinea pig.
The goal of Chicken Farmers of Canada's Young Farmers Program is to bring together young farmers from across the country to learn about how the Canadian chicken industry works, and to share their experiences and knowledge, as well as to identify new leaders in the industry.
We know the ink has barely dried on this year’s Who’s Who edition – our previous issue where we profiled rising poultry stars from across the country. However, we’re already planning ahead for next year. And we once again want your input.
Canadian Bio-Systems Inc. (CBS Inc.) has launched the main phase rollout of its new Feed Science Platforms, offering a comprehensive portfolio of advanced bio-based feed technology solutions to benefit swine, poultry, aquaculture and ruminant production.
At a time when the North American feed industry is undergoing a dramatic transformation driven by new rules, heightened market expectations and groundbreaking technology advances, a growing number of major farming operations are opting to take charge of their futures by embracing a stronger direct role in feed production and feed additive innovation.
As Costco is set to be the first U.S. retailer to integrate its meat supply to the farm level, a new report from CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division predicts that other food retailers and foodservice companies may be prompted to reevaluate their own supply chain integration opportunities.
La Coop fédérée, an agri-food cooperative with operations across Canada, and W-S Feed & Supplies Limited, recently announced that La Coop fédérée will purchase a 50 per cent stake in the animal nutrition company based in Tavistock, Ont.
For Aviagen, advancing industry research and training the next generation of industry professionals are core values, and the company continually seeks out opportunities to support these priorities.
Kemin Industries, a global leader in developing feed ingredients for animal nutrition and health, recently announced the approval for use of chromium propionate in beef and broiler diets in Canada, effective immediately.
With farms, woods, wildlife and fresh air, rural residents cherish the charm and beauty of the countryside. Many people move from cities seeking peace and a pristine environment in the country.Most people understand that a rural community includes farmers and that farming is a business. Ontario’s agriculture and food sector employs 760,000 people and contributes more than $35 billion to the province’s economy every year. This means that certain activities take place according to a production schedule; and some affect residents living close to farms. In almost all cases, farmers and their rural neighbours get along well together. However, there are some exceptions.For the year of 2015- 2016 the ministry received 107 complaints related to farm practices. Of these, 45 (40 per cent) were about odour, while the others were mainly about noise (26 per cent), flies (19 per cent) and municipal by-laws (nine per cent).Odour complaints are generally related to: Farmers spreading manure on fields Fans ventilating livestock barns Manure piles Mushroom farms To manage conflict about farm practices, the Ontario government enacted the Farming and Food Production Protection Act (FFPPA). This act establishes the Normal Farm Practices Protection Board (NFPPB) to determine “normal farm practices”. When a person complains about odour or other nuisance from a particular farming practice, the board has the authority to hear the case and decide whether the practice is a “normal farm practice”. If it is, the farmer is protected from any legal action regarding that practice.When people make complaints about farm practices, a regional agricultural engineer or environmental specialist from OMAFRA’s Environmental Management Branch works with all parties involved to resolve the conflict. The board requires that any complaint go through this conflict resolution process before it comes to a hearing.Each year, through the conflict resolution process, OMAFRA staff have resolved the vast majority of complaints. In 2015-16, only twelve of the 107 cases resulted in hearings before the board. Of these, only two were odour cases involving multiple nuisances such as noise, dust and flies. Thus, while odours remain the biggest cause of complaints about farm practices, OMAFRA staff working through the conflict resolution process has proved very effective in dealing with them.
I first heard the word ‘sustainable’ in university many moons ago. It seemed academic, and the right thing to do as we studied agriculture and how to feed the world in the future. Then I didn’t hear that word for about a decade.
I recently went back to school to join an ethical food choice discussion at a high school in our nation’s capital. Although it jarred me on some levels, it inspired me on many more. I’m sharing this experience as just one example of thousands like it that are happening online, in boardrooms and conversations about food across Canada every single day.
The chicken industry, along with foodservice and retail, has been in the sights of vegan activists. Their mission, it seems, is to misinform and manipulate Canadians about how we do our work.
Last year the industry saw an irksome trend endure. Global food companies, in response to pressure from deceptive activist groups, continued to roll out different poultry welfare policies.
Begin with the end in mind. This simple leadership mantra captures the essence of the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity (CCFI) research on understanding Canadians’ expectations regarding trust and transparency in our food and how it’s produced. Before investing millions in changing farm and food production practices or in efforts to communicate with the public, it’s important to have a solid understanding of public perceptions and concerns. To be most effective, this investment should be part of a long-term game plan with proactive, collaborative thinking.
Whole bird turkey sales in Canada have declined quite a bit over the last few years, especially during the last two. Still, the turkey sector in Canada and in the U.S. continues to find success building consumption of other products.
As has been done periodically since it was created decades ago, the Canada Food Guide is being updated again, this time as part of a new Healthy Eating Strategy launched by Health Canada in the fall of 2016. Chicken Farmers of Canada (CFC) and some other groups and individuals have concerns over proposed updates to the guide that relate to a focus on plant-based proteins.
If you think you’ve noticed more chicken than ever on restaurant menus and being served at family gatherings – let alone at your own dinner table – you would be right.
Across Canada, breakfast sandwich sales are exploding. And Canadians’ love for eggs is booming right along with it.More and more restaurant chains across the country are offering all-day breakfast menu items, and Canadians are getting inspired in the kitchen with their own creations. And the results are amazing.After implementing all-day breakfast, the sale of egg meals at McDonald’s rose 25 per cent in the first year...that’s over 35 million more eggs!Breakfast sandwiches are one part of an incredible trend—more and more Canadians are eating and enjoying the nutritional benefits of eggs. We’ve seen consistent sales growth in eggs over the past 11 years. In fact, in 2017 alone, egg sales increased by 4.1 per cent across the country. | READ MORE
Several years ago, the people at Egg Farmers of Canada (EFC) noticed a trend. In an increasingly urbanized society, fewer people had a direct connection to where their food came from. Despite this shift, the organization’s CEO Tim Lambert noticed younger Canadians were more interested in where their food came from. They appeared particularly concerned about the environmental impact of production.
It wasn’t exactly the kind of product launch that consumers – and, for that matter, retailers – were expecting. Almost two years after receiving government approval to supply Ontario-sourced kosher chickens, Premier Kosher introduced its free-range birds in 50-pound boxes that were shipped directly to customers, bypassing retailers entirely – at least for now.The move came only a few weeks after Premier Kosher received final government approval for its production plant in Abingdon, Ont., and only a few weeks before the Passover season, the busiest time of year for kosher food retailers. | For the full story, CLICK HERE.
Did you know that September is National Chicken Month? Each year, Chicken Farmers of Canada has celebrated chicken farming throughout the whole month of September and this year we are as excited as ever.
Chicken Farmers of Canada is proud to announce the election of the 2018 executive committee. The elections followed the annual general meeting and the 15-member board of directors, made up of farmers and other stakeholders from the chicken industry, has chosen the following representatives:Benoît Fontaine, Chair (Stanbridge Station, Quebec)Hailing from Stanbridge Station, Quebec, Benoît Fontaine, chair of Chicken Farmers of Canada, most recently served as the first vice-chair of the executive committee. He first joined the board of directors in 2013 as an alternate, and became the Quebec director in 2014. He farms in the Lac Champlain area and raises 5.5 million kg of chicken and 500,000 kg of turkey. A former high school Canadian history teacher, and second generation chicken farmer, Benoît has also been heavily involved in the Union des producteurs agricoles since 1999. Benoît has also served on Chicken Farmers of Canada’s policy committee and the production committee.Derek Janzen, first Vice-Chair (Aldergrove, British Columbia)Derek Janzen, first vice-chair, and his wife Rhonda have farmed in the Fraser Valley since 1998. They currently produce 1.4 million Kg’s of chicken annually and manage 22,000 commercial laying hens. Prior to farming, Derek worked for B.C.’s largest poultry processor for nearly nine years. He worked his way up from driving delivery truck to sales and marketing where he took the position of Major Accounts Manager. Derek’s experience in the processing industry has served him well with his board involvement. Derek has held various positions on a variety of boards including chair of the B.C. Egg Producers Association and also was appointed by the Minister of Agriculture as a member of the Farm Industry Review Board, B.C.’s supervisory board. Derek enjoys being involved in the industry and is excited to represent B.C. at the Chicken Farmers of Canada.Nick de Graaf, 2nd Vice-Chair (Port Williams, Nova Scotia)Nick de Graaf is a third-generation poultry farmer in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia operating the farm founded by his Dutch grandfather in the early 1960’s. Today the farm produces more than 660,000 chickens, and 67,000 turkeys per year. Nick is also part of Innovative Poultry Group (IPG). IPG farms 55,000 broiler breeders and owns Maritime Chicks, a new, state-of-the-art hatchery employing the HatchCare system. In addition to poultry, Nick grows more than 1,600 acres of wheat, corn and soybeans. He is self-sufficient in the production of corn and soybeans for his on-farm feed mill where he processes poultry feeds for his own flocks. Nick is in his 8th year as a director with Chicken Farmers of Nova Scotia. He has participated in Chicken Farmers of Canada as an alternate director and as a member of the policy committee. Nick and his wife, Trudy, have three children and two grandchildren.Tim Klompmaker, Executive Member (Norwood, Ontario)Tim Klompmaker lives in Norwood, Ontario and was elected to the Chicken Farmers of Canada Board in 2017. Tim started farming in 1984 along with his wife Annette and his three sons. He is a third generation chicken farmer with the fourth generation already in place and running chicken farms of their own. Tim served as a district committee representative for Chicken Farmers of Ontario before being elected to the Ontario Board in 2000. He served as CFC alternate representative for Ontario from 2012 to 2013, and has represented Ontario on the CFC Production Committee, the AMU Working Committee, and at NFACC. He has also served as first vice-chair of Chicken Farmers of Ontario.The Board looks forward to continuing its work together, ensuring that Canada’s chicken industry continues to deliver on consumer expectations for excellence. With an eye to the future, Chicken Farmers of Canada will work with all its partners, ensuring clear, common goals for the future, and setting a solid path and purpose for all stakeholders, and for generations of chicken farmers to come.Canadians want Canadian chicken, so we deliver them fresh, locally-raised food, just the way they like it. Our farmers are a stabilizing force in rural Canada, where they can – and do – reinvest with confidence in their communities, but their contribution is much wider. In sum, we are part of Canada’s economic solution, and do so without subsidies, and are very proud of both.Chicken Farmers of Canada introduced its “Raised by a Canadian Farmer” brand in 2013 to showcase the commitment of farmers to provide families with nutritious chicken raised to the highest standards of care, quality and freshness.People care deeply about their food, about knowing where it comes from and that what they’re serving to their family and friends is of the highest quality; our farmers and their families are no different. So, when we say that the Canadian chicken industry is good for Canadians, it’s because we know that we’re raising our chickens to the highest standards: yours.
November 2, 2017, Ottawa, Ont. – The final step in concluding a new Federal Provincial Agreement for Chicken (FPA) was taken earlier this week. On October 31st, Farm Products Council of Canada determined that Governor-in-Council approval is not required for the new FPA.This brings to close more than eight years of discussions and negotiations to arrive at a new allocation methodology that is not only supported by all federal and provincial signatories, but also delivers on the requirements of the Farm Products Agencies Act for Chicken Farmers of Canada (CFC) to take comparative advantage into account when allocating production growth.The new FPA provides increased certainty to all industry stakeholders. "With it, we have the tools we need to grow, develop and thrive," Benoît Fontaine, chair of Chicken Farmers of Canada, added in a press release. "This FPA marks our industry's total commitment to a dynamic and always evolving supply management system for chicken."With the new FPA in hand, today, the Canadian chicken industry welcomed back Alberta Chicken Producers into the agreement, bringing all provinces back into the system. Alberta had withdrawn from the FPA in 2013, but continued to work at CFC on the modernization of the allocation system to ensure that Canadians from coast to coast continue to enjoy a steady supply of fresh, high-quality, Canadian-grown chicken."Our focus on responding quickly to the changing demands of consumers in every province, and to meeting all our challenges, are among the many reasons we are a Canadian success story," Fontaine said. "We're excited to have all our provinces back on board.""The agreement provides strength to the Canadian chicken industry and shows that we can work together to evolve our supply management system for the benefit of all," CFC executive director Michael Laliberté added.Supply management is a uniquely Canadian response to market volatility in a perishable product market. Consumer demand is rarely static. It changes as a result of demographic shifts, immigration from countries with different food preferences, and new science related to human health and nutrition.This latest FPA is paramount to the Canadian chicken industry's continued strategic growth. The active support and participation of the federal and provincial governments enhances the nation's international trade position, backing Canada'sright to use the marketing systems of its choice.
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.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) says Sofina Foods Inc. is recalling Janes brand Pub Style Chicken Burgers from the marketplace due to possible Salmonella contamination.The agency says the uncooked breaded chicken burgers were sold across the country in 800 gram packages with a best before date of May 14, 2019 (UPC code 0 69299 12491 0).In its recall warning the CFIA says Salmonella investigations led by the Public Health Agency of Canada have linked frozen raw breaded chicken products to 25 illnesses in nine provinces - one in B.C., three in Alberta, three in Saskatchewan, one in Manitoba, 12 in Ontario, two in Quebec, one in New Brunswick, one in P.E.I., and one in Newfoundland and Labrador.It says two people have been hospitalized, though no deaths have been reported.The agency, however, did not say whether any of the illness were directly related to the products being recalled.It says the recalled items should be thrown out or returned to the store where they were purchased.Symptoms of Salmonella poisoning typically include fever, headache, vomiting, nausea, abdominal cramps and diarrhea, but long-term complications can include severe arthritis.
Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) is providing a second Ontario chicken processor with a new and unique opportunity to supply smaller-sized chickens, ‘Small Whole Birds’, aimed at meeting the demands of distinct Ontario consumer markets, including the increasingly popular Portuguese barbecue restaurants or ‘churrasqueiras’.“Earlier this year, CFO strengthened its growing suite of processing programs, which are designed to meet new and emerging markets and satisfy the complex demands of today’s consumers,” said Ed Benjamins, chair, Chicken Farmers of Ontario. “With the introduction of CFO’s Small Whole Bird Supply Program, Ontarians can look forward to even more chicken choices on retail shelves, in restaurants and foodservice establishments across the province,” stated Benjamins.The announcement welcomes a second Ontario processor into this new program. Sure Fresh Foods Inc., of Bradford, Ont., is planning to start processing ‘Small Whole Birds’ for the Portuguese barbeque market in early fall of 2018.“CFO is pleased to announce that Sure Fresh Foods will target the needs of a specific market which is intended to further enhance the ability of our industry to meet consumer demand for Premium Ontario Chicken,” said Rob Dougans, president & CEO of CFO. “All of our processor programs are designed with the consumer in mind and are developed through strategic consultation across the chicken industry value chain.”CFO’s Small Whole Bird Supply Program was established with the purpose of meeting the demands of consumer markets requiring chickens that are smaller than what is traditionally grown and processed in Ontario (approximately 1.7 kg versus 2.2 kg). Serving these distinct markets may also require different processing equipment than is used in the mainstream chicken industry to accommodate the smaller size of the bird.To learn more about how the chicken industry is committed to providing Ontarians with even more choice, check out some of the other Chicken Farmers of Ontario Programs for Ontario Processors by clicking here.
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.
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PIC Producer UpdateWed Dec 12, 2018