Marketing Boards

May 7, 2014, Ottawa, Ont. - The Pullet Growers of Canada (PGC) is disappointed with the decision by Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, that PGC not be granted Part 2 Agency Status under the Farm Products Agencies Act of Canada, but PGC remains firmly committed to developing a stable and sustainable future for Canadian pullet growers.

"This has been a long and involved process. This is the right time for PGC to come under supply management and would have been a positive change for Canadian pullet growers," said Andy DeWeerd, PGC Chair. "Achieving agency status would have stabilized the pullet industry and allowed us to be proactive - instead of reactive - in implementing national programs on cost of production, disease control, HACCP [Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points] and housing standards, among many others."

This decision comes after more than four years of organizational preparations by the PGC as they proceeded step by step through the legal process of applying for Agency Status to include pullets in the supply management marketing system. Pullets are the day-old chicks raised to 19 weeks that become layer hens. Pullets are currently the only part of the poultry system that is not in supply management.

A successful application would have given PGC the required legal powers to represent and make decisions on behalf of member provincial pullet grower organizations on issues related to cost of production, disease control and animal welfare, among many other issues facing the industry. Stable pricing under supply management would have allowed pullet growers to reinvest in their farms and address social and environmental responsibilities to the standards expected by Canadians with consistent national programs.

"We have come too far to just give up," says DeWeerd. "Now is the time to regroup, examine our options and forge ahead. The status quo simply doesn't work anymore and one way or another, PGC will lead Canadian pullet growers into a stable future."

 

April 30, 2014 - The Egg Farmers of Alberta (EFA) has announced that the application window for the New Entrant Program (NEP) is now open, giving individuals the chance to become Alberta’s newest egg farmer.  

The New Entrant Program was established in order to assist individuals and families who want to own and operate an egg farm in Alberta, by alleviating some of the producer’s start-up costs.  NEP quota will be issued at no cost to the successful applicant(s).

 

To be eligible for EFA’s NEP, the following criteria must be met. The applicant: 

-    must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada;

-    must be  a permanent resident of Alberta;

-    Not be a current or past quota holder

 

All applications will be reviewed for eligibility and evaluated by a selection committee.  Quota will be issued in lots of up to 1,500 birds.  If the total number of qualified candidates exceeds the number of lots available, a draw will be held to determine the NEP allotment.

 

To apply, interested parties must complete and submit a New Entrant Plan application form to the EFA Board of Directors, along with a comprehensive business plan and a $1,000 fee.  For more information, NEP information packages are available online (www.eggs.ab.ca/NEP).  Applicants can submit their application form, business plan and fee via mail, or in person at the EFA office.  Applications will be accepted from April 30, 2014 until June 27, 2014.

April 21, 2014 - Egg Farmers of Canada (EFC) today announced a new campaign showcasing the "Natural Goodness" of Canadian eggs. The new campaign features eggs as a natural choice, which consumer research revealed to be very important. 

"We know that more and more Canadians are choosing foods that are nutritious and wholesome," says Bonnie Cohen, Egg Farmers of Canada's Director of Marketing and Nutrition. "The campaign, profiling a Canadian egg farmer, reminds consumers that they can trust the goodness and purity of Canadian eggs," Cohen added.

Developed by Cossette in English and French, EFC's Natural Goodness campaign launches on TV, in print, online and in-store, all including the tagline: Natural Goodness. Brought to you by your local egg farmers. The centrepiece of the campaign is a new 30-second TV spot that features second generation egg farmer, Laurent Souligny, and his family. In the spot, Souligny outlines his family's farming history and explains how eggs have always been a natural source of protein and nutrients.

"Recruiting a practicing farmer with generations of experience brings authenticity, and allowed us to underscore the message that eggs have always been naturally good," adds David Daga, Co Chief Creative Director at Cossette.

EFC's Natural Goodness campaign launches on TV and online in April. Print and in-store will roll-out later this year.

The new Natural Goodness TVC can be viewed here.

 

March 20, 2014- Chicken Farmers of Canada announced the election of its 2014 Executive Committee yesterday in Ottawa. The elections followed its annual general meeting. The 15-member Board of Directors, made up of farmers and other stakeholders from the chicken industry, has chosen the following representatives: 

Dave Janzen, re-elected as Chair, has represented British Columbia as an alternate since 2006 and has been their director since 2008. He joined the Executive committee in 2010 and first became the Chair in 2012. His family farm in Abbotsford that he and wife Jeannie started from scratch in 1981 has been home to four Janzen kids, and is right next door to the Fraser Valley dairy farm where he grew up. Dave and his family produce nearly 1 million kg each year.

 Yvon Cyr, elected as the 1st Vice-Chair, has been a chicken farmer since 1987. He produces approximately 3.3 million kg of chicken each year on his farm near Saint-François-de-Madawaska in New Brunswick. He is part of the Westco Group, which produces 16.5 million kg of chicken per year, 1.5 million kg of turkey, 80,000 breeders, 70,000 commercial laying hens and operates one hatchery. Yvon and his wife Linda have four boys.

Benoît Fontaine, from Stanbridge Station, Quebec, was elected as the 2nd Vice-Chair of the Executive Committee. He joined the Board last year as an alternate, served on the Production Committee and became the Quebec Director this year. He farms in the Lac Champlain area and raises 3 million kg of chicken, 100,000 ducks and 85,000 turkeys each year. A 2nd generation chicken farmer, Benoît has also been heavily involved in the Union des producteurs agricoles, the Quebec farmer organization, since 1999.

Vernon Froese, of Grunthal, Manitoba has been on the Chicken Farmers of Canada Board since 2012, but was an alternate prior to that. At the 2014 AGM, Vernon was elected to the Executive Committee as the Executive Member. Vernon, wife Hilda, and two sons grow over 800,000 kg of chicken each year; cash crop about 750 acres of corn and canola, and raise 12,000 feeder pigs. He has previously served on the Board’s Policy Committee.

 

This is my final piece as the principal contributor to The Back Page. When I was invited a year ago to write the column, I accepted, but explained that I couldn’t do it for more than a year because of other commitments.

So, what should my final article be about? Reflecting upon my 16 years of managing communications for Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO), I decided to write about Bob Lakey, who very sadly passed away about ten years ago. Bob became a great friend and, if this column reads like a tribute, that is OK with me and I am sure it will be just fine with anyone who met Bob or heard him speak about the American poultry industry, trade and supply management.

In 1991 or ‘92, I suggested to the CFO that we should develop contacts with American chicken farmers and try to find someone who would be willing to speak at CFO’s Annual Meeting. I needed somebody “real” who could speak farmer-to-farmer and who would not suffer stage fright when speaking to 500 people in a big Toronto hotel. The person I found was Bob Lakey who lived in Adona, Arkansas, which is about an hour outside of Little Rock.

My journey into the world of American chicken farming began at a three-day long clandestine meeting of the National Contract Poultry Growers’ Association. It was pretty much in the middle of nowhere, someplace in Alabama. That is where I met chicken farmers from across the country, including Bob Lakey. The meeting was clandestine because the farmers did not want any “integrators” to sneak into the meeting and recognize disgruntled growers. Should that happen, the farmers feared losing their contract, knowing full well that once an integrator “cuts off” a grower, no other company will touch him. It was literally by invitation only.

At one point, I was invited to go to the front of the hall to speak about supply management because they were very interested in hearing me explain how farmers in Canada made a good living growing chickens. About five minutes into my supply management talk, I suddenly stopped and said: “It just hit me. I know why your situation is so bleak. You don’t own the food you produce. You have nothing to sell and that is why you have no power.” Nobody argued with me.

The next day, I invited Bob to come to Canada. He thought I was kidding, but I wasn’t, and he accepted my invitation. When he arrived, we asked if he would like to go to the top of the CN tower or see Niagara Falls. In his distinct southern accent, he graciously declined the offers and said he would much rather visit some chicken farms, which we did.  He was shocked at what he saw and asked me if I had staged visits to four or five of the nicest farms.

Bob visited Canada several times and always delivered a powerful message and one that bears repeating,

Here are some excerpts from his speech to a full house at the 1995 CFO Annual Meeting in Toronto. Everybody wanted to hear his compelling story about life in the chicken business from an American perspective. It’s my pleasure to end The Back Page with words from Bob Lakey – the man from Arkansas.

“We need legislation designed specifically to give effective protection to poultry growers in their dealings with the integrators. Contract growing is not going to go away in the United States. I believe that we will continue to grow birds that we don’t own. That is why we need legislation that would make our contracts with the integrators true contracts. Today, we have no say in those contracts. We have to sign them or lose our farms. They are not contracts between two partners. They are ultimatums.

“My chicken houses produce six flocks per year with 20,000 birds per flock. At the end of the year, after I have made my mortgage payments, paid the utilities and covered other business costs, and I allow absolutely nothing for my labor, I can expect to net about $4,000. That is $4,000 net per house, per year. So, with my three houses, I could expect to net $12,000 a year.

“I sincerely hope that you are successful in Canada in your battle to maintain effective tariffs on chicken, because if you are not, you will end up like me in a real hurry. I doubt very much if any of you would want to trade places. I wouldn’t wish our situation on my worst enemy, and I sure wouldn’t wish it on you people, who I consider to be my good friends.”

 

The needs of the poultry industry are changing and Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) is investing in enhanced capabilities and capacity to deliver that change. That investment began with the introduction of the CFO Flock Manager program in 2013.

 Flock Manager is an online reporting system that has created a more efficient way of filing the familiar Form 3’s and 6’s that broiler farmers have always submitted to report flock production and marketing. The electronic filing system simplifies the process, eliminating legibility issues, reducing the number of incomplete forms by forcing data entry in required sections of the form, and significantly speeding up the transfer of information.

“It used to be a seven- to 10-day gap with the form ‘in the mail,’ ” said Cathy Aker, CFO’s manager of quality and risk management. While the system will eventually be used by all farmers, Aker said that the early adopters have been critical in helping to shape and refine the reporting system.

So how has it worked so far?

Mike and Leonie Vander Meer and their son Daniel operate a broiler farm in Wellandport, Ont. When they first heard of the opportunity to participate in CFO’s Flock Manager electronic form trials, Mike was a little hesitant – he didn’t spend a lot of time with a computer – but Leonie said, “No, we should do this.”

“The first attempts at electronic filing with Flock Manager involved at lot of phone calls,“ Leonie remembers, “and a bit of technical frustration in the wee hours of the morning as the chickens ship out somewhere between midnight and 8 a.m.”  

Mike and Leonie soon discovered that the program worked better with Fire Fox than Internet Explorer. Webinars were available to help coach them though the forms and in the early stages they appreciated the opportunity to provide suggestions for refining the forms. They have since purchased a tablet in order to be more mobile. It took only a few crops for Mike to become comfortable with using Flock Manger on the tablet on his own.

Leonie encourages those still hesitating to attempt the electronic filing to try it, as it is easier to grow along with the program than playing “catch up” later on.

Tim Klompmaker is a chicken farmer from Peterborough County, farming there since 1984. He is also the CFO board director for District 9 and chair of the Farm Operations and Sustainability committee. Klompmaker was involved in Flock Manager at the committee level at CFO, but as a farmer he became involved when his processor, Farm Fresh Poultry Co-operative, agreed to participate in the traceability pilot project.

 From his farmer perspective, Flock Manager was about helping to eliminate the need for paper forms and allowing the quick and efficient flow of information electronically between CFO, farmer, processor and hatcheries. From a risk management perspective the new program would allow for quick access to information and the ability to react promptly in the case of a disease outbreak.

As a farmer, Klompmaker sees Flock Manager as “a work in progress.” He recalls that, just the way their schedule worked out, they were both shipping from one farm the first week of the program and placing chicks at their other farm. “We were basically the guinea pigs for the program so it was time-consuming initially,” he said, but as far as adapting to the new program it was a relatively easy transition since the online forms are not significantly different from the paper forms.

With his director hat on, Klompmaker would like to expand the program so that as much reporting as possible will be done online, including but not limited to the On Farm Food Safety Assurance Program (OFFSAP) and Animal Care Program (ACP).

In July 2013, Paul Bakker used Flock Manager for the first time. He was “pleasantly surprised,” especially with the 24-hour support line provided by Earl Thomson. “There will always be some bugs,” said Bakker, who farms near Belwood, Ont.

His involvement as a member of the processing co-operative Farm Fresh Poultry, a company that has now gone entirely paperless for the Form 3 and 6, helped him to decide to become involved early. To him, Flock Manager was “long overdue.” Bakker doesn’t consider himself to be super tech savvy but he is familiar with computers. “It’s just clicking buttons,” he said, so it wasn’t a big jump for him to handle the computerized version of the familiar forms.

When he first started with Flock Manager he found himself going back and forth to the barn while entering all the information, but now it’s streamlined – he just passes it off to the driver and it’s done.

“There’s nothing I’d change,” said Bakker. All of the information is in drop down boxes on the computer screen, making selections easy. He reports that the interface is intuitive and very simple, and the support team can fix things in real time, 24/7. If you’re sitting on the fence about Flock Manager, “go in with an open mind,” said Bakker, who is now up to speed after only two or three flocks.

As of February 2014, almost 250 Ontario broiler farmers are using the Flock Manager system.

Cathy Aker reports that at the processor level, those committed to using Flock Manager wouldn’t look back. Maximizing output drives the bottom line, said Aker, and now Canadian Food Inspection Agency vets can access information instantly online, reducing delays at the plant. In that respect, Flock Manager will help to streamline the inspection process.

As the program evolves, Aker predicts further “tweaks” to Form 6, which starts with the farmer but is then passed along to the driver. “We’ve had varying levels of success,” she reports, largely because of different comfort levels of the drivers with using mobile electronic devices to input the data. The first solution involved texting the information using an older-style flip phone, but there were issues when big fingers met small keys. She is confident that a new transporter portal data entry system will work better.

Even though it is still relatively new, the Flock Manager system is currently undergoing a “rebranding” and will be known as CFO Connects – Trace, part of a complete system which will streamline, standardize and automate all operations. This new platform will help CFO reach its goal of simplifying how business is done in the chicken industry.

 

January 24, 2014 - The Quebec federation of egg producers (FPOCQ) have launched the the province's first food product traceability system, allowing consumers to trace eggs from farm to fork. FULL STORY 

Oct. 3, 2013, Ottawa, ON - Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz has announced the appointment of Debra Etsell as a member of the Farm Products Council of Canada (FPCC) effective immediately and will be for a three year term.
 
“I’m confident that Ms. Etsell’s hands-on farming experience and passion for seeing the sector grow will be an asset to the Council’s work,” said Minister Ritz.

Debra Etsell has been in the agriculture industry for approximately 25 years and is the director of Coligny Hill Farms Ltd., an Abbotsford, British Columbia farm where she along with her husband and two sons, currently produce turkeys, hay and wine grapes. Her passion for agriculture has also led to working with various farm organizations - since 2007, she has been with the B.C. Blueberry Council and is currently its executive director. Etsell has also worked for the B.C. Agriculture Council as well as the B.C. Raspberry Industry Development Council.
 
The FPCC plays a key part in Canada's supply management system for poultry and eggs. Created in 1972, the Council supervises the operations of the four national marketing agencies that manage the supply of Canadian chicken, turkey, eggs and broiler hatching eggs. These agencies establish and allocate production quota, promote products, raise funds through levies and license marketers. In addition, the Council supervises the operation of the Canadian Beef Cattle Research, Market Development and Promotion Agency. Until 2009, the FPCC was known as the National Farm Products Council.
 
For more information about the FPCC, please visit http://fpcc-cpac.gc.ca/
Jun. 10, 2013, Mississauga, ON - The Egg Farmers of Ontario (EFO) have decided to launch an electronic quota transfer system to provide a new and improved quota market mechanism for its farmers in 2014.

Beginning in early 2014, buyers and sellers of Ontario egg and pullet quota will conduct transfers through a transparent and accessible electronic transfer system rather than through direct private sales arrangements.

"The EFO board made the decision at its June meeting following extensive discussions and research into a variety of potential options including similar existing transfer methods already in place in British Columbia, Manitoba and Quebec," said EFO Chair Scott Graham.

"EFO will be consulting extensively with egg and pullet farmers over the next few months to design the details of a made-in-Ontario quota transfer system that works for our farmers," Graham added.

All Ontario egg and pullet quota holders were informed by mail and email on June 6 about the decision. They were also advised that, until the new quota transfer system is operating, the EFO board has instituted a moratorium on egg and pullet quota transfers to allow for an orderly implementation of the new process.

Graham said the decision to introduce an organized market for quota follows two years of discussion and consultations with farmers. "Discussions about potential ways to improve the method of transferring Ontario egg and pullet quotas have been underway since 2011," Graham said. "Farmers said the lack of opportunity and lack of information about private quota sales means they find it is becoming more difficult to purchase quota without having to go through egg and pullet industry service representatives."

Based on feedback from farmers during the last two years that Ontario needs a more effective market for quota transfers, the EFO board decided that farmers need a regularly-scheduled market where all buyers and sellers are guaranteed access to participate on fair and equal terms. "All buyers and sellers will benefit from the accessibility of an effective, organized market mechanism co-ordinated in a transparent way by a third-party organization," Graham said.

Now that the decision has been made to launch a new quota transfer system, EFO will be working with farmers to develop details of the new system, Graham said. "EFO will be consulting with egg and pullet farmers over the next few months to make sure the system works for our members," he said.  "To make this happen, the criteria surrounding the quota transfer system will be the subject of meetings to be held in late summer and early fall."

Oct. 1, 2012, Ottawa, ON - In the spirit of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Parliamentary Secretary Pierre Lemieux are once again encouraging Canadians to generously donate to their local food banks. PS Lemieux joined Turkey Farmers of Canada Chair Mark Davies at the Ottawa Food Bank. Mr. Davies was on hand to present a $50,000 donation to Katharine Schmidt, Executive Director of Food Banks Canada.

"As Canadians, we should be thankful for the high-quality products produced by our turkey farmers and processors," said PS Lemieux. "By giving a helping hand to our rural food banks, together we can ensure that more families across Canada can celebrate Thanksgiving and enjoy delicious Canadian turkey."

This year marks the fourth consecutive year that Turkey Farmers of Canada has partnered with Food Banks Canada to raise money for rural food banks. The Turkey Farmers of Canada donation will be distributed to rural food banks all
across Canada and used to purchase whole turkeys or turkey products to distribute to their clients in need.

"Turkey Farmers of Canada is proud to partner with Food Banks Canada for a fourth year," said Mr. Davies. "We are fortunate to be able to support many rural food banks throughout Canada in their ongoing endeavour to provide turkeys to Canadian families again this Thanksgiving."

The Turkey Farmers of Canada is a national organization that has served as the voice of Canada's registered turkey farmers for over 36 years.

"We are honoured and grateful for the ongoing support of Turkey Farmers of Canada and its members who have provided the opportunity for rural food banks to share turkeys in communities across the country at Thanksgiving," said Ms. Schmidt. "Being able to help families in need keep this Canadian tradition will make a real difference to thousands of families."

Food Banks Canada is a national charitable organization representing the food bank community across Canada. The group depends on financial and gifts-in-kind support to reduce hunger in Canada by feeding people across the country.

Sept. 18, 2012, Ottawa, ON - Canada's chicken farmers welcome Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz's announcement of the creation of a new Innovation Advisory Committee, the first of its kind; it underscores Canada's support for ideas that work to meet the evolving consumer demand for high-quality Canadian food.

The FPT Ministers of Agriculture were in Whitehorse settling the final content of the Growing Forward 2 policy framework for the agriculture, agri-food and agri-products sector. This will focus investments on strategic initiatives in innovation, competitiveness and market development. "We are pleased that Ministers reaffirmed that the pursuit of an aggressive trade agenda and support for supply management are mutually compatible strategies," said Dave Janzen, Chair of Chicken Farmers of Canada.

David Fuller, past chair of CFC and chicken farmer from Nova Scotia, has been named to the new committee by Minister Ritz. The committee, launched at the federal-provincial-territorial (FPT) meetings held last week in Whitehorse, Yukon, has a mandate of providing the minister with expert advice on research and development.

"We are proud to have our past chair named to such a prestigious post," said Dave Janzen. "Research and innovation help industries remain responsive and are critical for Canada to be competitive on the world stage. We have earned the trust of Canadians by continually committing to innovation in new products, programs, technologies and processes that help our industry grow and thrive."

CFC supports the ongoing investment in research through the Agri-Science Clusters, Agricultural innovation and several other streams which will help develop new technologies and products.

During his time as CFC Chair, David Fuller oversaw the creation of the Canadian Poultry Research Council with the other four national poultry agencies and is a champion for the need to keep investing in research and innovation.

"This new committee will provide additional industry advice and expertise to help ensure that investments by governments are generating the results and returns needed by farmers," said Minister Ritz.

The committee will have 12 participants that cover a diverse spectrum of sectors and expertise. It will provide the Minister with proactive and strategic advice to help enhance the success of farmers and the sector.

For more information on the Chicken Farmers of Canada, visit www.chicken.ca.

Jul. 24, 2012, Winnipeg, MB - The Chicken Farmers of Canada (CFC) and all 10 provincial chicken marketing boards celebrated the implementation of the CFC Animal Care Program at the CFC Summer Meeting in Winnipeg today, by signing a memorandum of understanding for the implementation and certification services.

The Animal Care Program is a comprehensive program that stipulates animal care production requirements to ensure animal care standards. This signing reflects the commitment of all 10 Provincial Chicken Boards and Chicken Farmers of Canada to implement and maintain a comprehensive national animal care program and demonstrates the level of animal care on Canadian chicken farms.

The program's implementation has been supported by the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, the Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors Council, the Further Poultry Processors Council, the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association and the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers.

"The commitment demonstrated in signing this memorandum of understanding is confirmed by the accomplishment of so many Canadian chicken farmers to achieve certification, which enhances the many reasons that we are proud to grow the chicken Canadians trust," indicated Dave Janzen, Chairman of CFC.

The majority of chicken farmers have achieved certification on the program; this number is expected to continue to rise as farms undergo the animal care audit which is being conducted in conjunction with their annual on-farm food safety assurance program audit. Two provinces, Alberta and Prince Edward Island, have already achieved 100% certification and several other provinces will be in the same position within months.

The CFC received an investment of up to $72,500 from the federal government amd will use this investment to undergo an audit of its on-farm food safety system, helping to ensure that the chicken industry follows top-notch safety procedures and practices. The CFC will then proceed to the final stage of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's On-Farm Food Safety Recognition Program. This national program follows the Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points (HACCP) principles to make sure that potential food safety problems are caught before products leave the farm gate.

The signing of the memorandum of understanding, witnessed by the Honourable Ron Kostyshyn, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives for the Government of Manitoba, outlines the division of roles, responsibilities and authorities between the provincial chicken boards and Chicken Farmers of Canada in order to deliver a credible system to provide on-farm audits and certification services to all Canadian chicken farmers.

The CFC is working toward becoming the first organization to achieve full recognition by this program, and other organizations will be able to learn from the experiences of this pilot project. A strong, government-recognized food safety system will give Canadians more assurance that food products are handled safely, helping to boost farmers' bottom line.

Chicken Farmers of Canada is online at www.chicken.ca.

June 20, 2012, Vancouver, BC - The British Columbia Egg Marketing Board is using IBM analytics to save money, reduce workload, improve farmers' profitability and ensure the safety and availability of the more than 816 million eggs produced in the province each year.

The BC Egg Marketing Board is responsible for planning and controlling BC's egg production, to ensure supply meets fluctuating demand. The Board works with more than 130 egg producers, overseeing 2.7 million chickens.

Using analytics from IBM, the BC Egg Marketing Board is now able to integrate and analyze production and inspection data from hundreds of farms across the province and perform complex calculations on chick maturation and egg-laying life-spans, to determine the number of chickens needed in production to meet demand and to scale hatchery operations accordingly. The system also includes the potential for the Board to pinpoint the flock a particular egg came from, in the event of a disease outbreak.

"We're now being proactive in improving the quality and safety of egg production processes and products," said Anne-Marie Butler, Director of Finance and Administration at the BC Egg Marketing Board. "By making data easier to collect, analyze and share, we are seeing efficiencies that allow us to go beyond the bare minimum for compliance."

Previously, data collection was paper-intensive, manual and disjointed, but with the analytics solution, real-time production data from all farms is captured electronically, while data about egg safety and other inspection criterion is collected and entered by on-site inspectors using tablets. This has reduced farm inspection workload by 66 percent, and created an annual cost savings of $100,000.

"I now have online access to data that allows me to monitor my farm's daily production and other activities, share it with my farm manager so we can track and adjust, as well as benchmark against other producers in a similar category. It eliminates speculation or basing decisions on what I presume others are doing. The facts and data speak for themselves, and give me a great overview of where I stand in relation to industry averages," says Walter Siemens, an egg farmer in Abbotsford, B.C.

The analytics solution was recently augmented by a Web-based producers' portal, which replaces the paper, monthly production statement the Board previously faxed to its members. It gives egg producers mobile, tablet or Web-based, real-time access to the Board's range of data on farm- and flock-level operations, providing metrics such as egg size, egg type, average price per dozen, weekly and year-to-date production and revenue totals, historical comparisons, provincial benchmarks and more.

IBM worked with business partner Peritas Solutions to integrate the analytics data onto the portal. "Using IBM Cognos 10, producers can measure themselves against their peers and are using these key insights to drive expenses down and margins up, and deliver a higher quality, more predictable product into the marketplace, " said Chris Foster, an account executive at Peritas. "The IBM analytics behind BC Egg Board's system serves to simplify every part of the supply chain by providing producers with the unprecedented ability to access, compare and derive insights from data, enabling them to solve problems, make adjustments and increase profitability," said Jamie Spiller, IBM's smarter commerce lead.

Each year, $15 trillion is lost as a result of inefficiencies from wasted products in the global supply chain. In addition, there is $1.2 trillion globally in excess inventory stockpiled in supply chains. By tracking trends and sentiment and interacting with consumers in new ways, organizations can strengthen connections to their customers and improve business processes. Through the Smarter Commerce initiative, IBM is taking the lead in helping organizations respond to market shifts in real-time, automate marketing, selling and fulfillment, and create a consistent global brand experience.

For more information about IBM, please visit www.ibm.com/services.

About The BC Egg Marketing Board

The BC Egg Marketing Board is a non-profit organization that is represented by approximately 132 small, family-owned and operated egg farms. Eggs are produced in a manner that reflects the spirit of responsibility, accountability, and integrity of all our stakeholders. Farms operate independently, without government subsidies, and with respect for resources and the products they produce.

It has now been 50 years since regulated marketing began in the Canadian chicken industry. In March, several hundred people gathered in Abbotsford, B.C., to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the B.C. Chicken Marketing Board (BCCMB), which until 1980 was known as the B.C. Broiler Marketing Board.

Although it was the first meat poultry board in Canada, it was not the first case of regulated marketing in the province, having been preceded by both the B.C. Milk Board and the B.C. Egg Marketing Board.

A host of dignitaries congratulated the BCCMB on its accomplishments, including retiring Chicken Farmers of Canada (CFC) chair David Fuller and Sen. Gerry St. Germain, a former chicken grower and BCCMB chair.

“The chicken marketing board has always had a special place in my heart,” St. Germain said, insisting it has done a “world of good” for the industry.

“You set a high bar for the rest of us,” Fuller added.

Current BCCMB board member and new CFC chair David Janzen spent most of the evening recounting highlights of the board’s history, beginning with the first board of chair Bob Blair and members Ken Nelson and Bill Vanden Born. They noted how far the industry has come since the BCCMB issued its first pricing order on Dec. 28, 1961, setting the live price at 18.5 cents/pound (40 cents/kilogram). At $1.63333/kilogram, the current price is more than four times that. Production has increased even more dramatically. B.C. now grows about 150 million kilograms/year, an increase of over 1,000 per cent from 1961.

Although the board was formed to smooth out production and increase returns to growers, it has had a checkered history.  Despite and sometimes because of its own efforts, history shows the board and the industry has had a series of ups and downs on both the provincial and the national level over the past 50 years.

As early as 1965, the B.C. board indicated a willingness to co-operate with other provinces in implementing regulated pricing and production but stated it would be just as prepared “to compete where competition has been offered.”

The dramatic production increase has not been an orderly climb. The board was forced to make its first quota cut in 1967 when “too many broilers were produced to maintain a stable and profitable market demand.”

This also caused the processors of the day to form an advisory committee to the board to improve relations between growers and processors. Like the industry as a whole, that relationship has been up and down ever since.

By 1972, all provinces had instituted their own marketing boards but this was not enough to manage interprovincial movement of chicken. Although B.C. had initially floated the idea of a national chicken plan to deal with the issue, it ended up opposing the proposed plan, saying it did not adequately address market growth within a province.

After years of discussion, the Canadian Chicken Marketing Agency (CCMA – now CFC) was proclaimed on Dec. 29, 1978. B.C. was an original member but withdrew in 1990 to protest what it felt were insufficient quota allocations.

Almost immediately thereafter, the BCCMB agreed to co-operate with the CCMA. By 1994, old wounds had healed and growers voted overwhelmingly in favour of rejoining the national agency. However, that was stymied by the B.C. government and it was not until 2001 that B.C. actually re-entered the national system.

Although the BCCMB had been an elected grower board since its inception, that ended in 2000. As a result of another period of friction between growers and processors, the B.C. government decided to terminate the five-person elected board and replace it with a three-person appointed board. While it has maintained three appointees, including an appointed independent chair, the government has since added two elected grower positions, bringing the board back to a complement of five members. One of the appointed positions is currently vacant.

Current CFC chair David Janzen is the third B.C. grower to serve in that capacity. He was preceded on the national stage by Bruce McAninch and Arne Mykle.

He faces some difficult tasks, as processors in B.C., like their counterparts in Alberta and Ontario, want more production despite the fact there is only marginal growth in Canadian chicken demand.

That was reaffirmed by two of B.C.’s three major processors.

“Our hope is that the B.C. supply will increase,” says Sunrise Farms chief financial officer Scott Cummings, noting his company continues to develop new products in its Abbotsford further processing plant.

Superior Poultry could soon also be requesting more chicken. It has embarked on a $7-million expansion that will result in a 35 per cent increase in the capacity of its Coquitlam processing plant.

April 2, 2012 – Chicken Farmers of Ontario is helping potential new farmers enter the chicken industry. While the chicken industry is fortunate to welcome many new families annually to this sector, these farmers tend to have farming backgrounds in other supply management sectors or bring farming experience to Ontario that was gained in other countries. In order to welcome other Canadian citizens to the industry, Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) has introduced a new program designed help lower the cost to entry for new farmers by spreading the capital costs of acquiring basic quota over fifteen years.

CFO’s New Chicken Farmers Entrant Program was introduced at the 2012 CFO Annual General Meeting.

“The new entrant program will help broaden the opportunity for potential farmers entering the chicken farming business in Ontario,” said Henry Zantingh, incoming Chair of the CFO. “The Board looks forward to helping those potential farmers who wish to make a long term commitment to our industry and, when taking the program support into account, ensure they are in a strong position to implement their business plan.”

Currently in Ontario, farmers are required to hold a minimum of 14,000 units of quota and must meet a number of policies and regulations before they are granted a licence to produce chicken. These requirements will not change under the new CFO program. What does change is that new farmers who are accepted into this special program will be required to acquire at least 4,000 units of quota while being allotted up to 10,000 “New Entrant Quota” by CFO to meet their minimum holding requirement.

The allotted quota must then be replaced with acquired quota over the next fifteen years on a prescribed schedule as the new farmer builds the necessary resources to make the transition.

For example, under the program, 30% of the quota allotted will be cancelled by year 5, another 30% in year 10 and the final 40% in year 15, with the participant in the new entrant program being required to acquire the equivalent quota units being cancelled. Up to 20,000 units of quota will be made available to the program each year.

While the New Chicken Farmers Entrant Program will help launch new chicken farms in Ontario, the program is not designed for everyone. In order to meet the policy goals of the program, in addition to having a strong business plan, priority will be given those who have not previously been associated with any supply management sector. All applications to the program will be reviewed by an industry panel of experts who will then recommend candidate finalists to the CFO Board. 

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