Marketing Boards

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. 

Mar. 21, 2012, Ottawa, ON - Chicken Farmers of Canada (CFC) is proud to announce the election of the following 2012 Executive Committee.

The 15-member Board of Directors, made up of farmers and other stakeholders from the chicken industry, provides leadership on CFC's strategic plan and mission and has chosen the following representatives:

Dave Janzen, the new Chair of CFC, has represented British Columbia at CFC meetings as an alternate since 2006 and has been their director since 2008. He joined the Executive committee two years ago as the Member at Large and was 1st Vice-Chair in 2011. His family farm in Abbotsford that he and wife Jeannie started from scratch in 1981 has been home to four Janzen kids, now aged 21-27, 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.

Adrian Rehorst, from Teeswater, Ontario, becomes the 1st Vice-Chair for 2012. His family farm is about 20 km from Lake Huron and he represents the farmers of that area, Region 1, on the Ontario chicken board. Adrian has spent many years in the industry, over 30 in fact, and has previously been an alternate to the CFC Board and has served as a member of the CFC Food Safety Committee. Adrian and his wife Lisette raise over 400,000 kg of chicken each year; have 1,500 acres of cash crops and a 55 head cow-calf operation.

Martin Dufresne, representing the province of Quebec, was re-elected to the position of 2nd Vice-Chair. Martin and his family farm near St. Felix-de-Valois and they produce approximately 1.7 million kilograms of chicken per year on the farm started by his father in 1954. He has been farming for over 20 years and was recently the Chair of the Quebec provincial board, Les Eleveurs de volailles du Quebec.

Yvon Cyr, the new Member at Large, has been a chicken farmer since 1987. He produces approximately 3.3 million kg of chicken each year on his farm near Saint-Francois-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.

CFC's main responsibility is to ensure that Canada's 2,700 chicken farmers produce the right amount of fresh, safe, high quality chicken to meet consumer needs. CFC is proud of its role in a continuing agriculture success story and over 30 years of raising the quality chicken that Canadians trust.

Today supply management is under assault again. What is lost in the fury of the attacks and the staunchness of the defence is why it emerged.


It is not a simple tale. It took, for example, 11 years from the founding of the first poultry marketing board in British Columbia to the formation of the Canadian Egg Marketing Agency. Along the way there were fierce challenges. Some, fewer over time, producers were adamantly opposed. Some politicians fought it at every step. There were court challenges, somber declarations from economists and corporate denunciations.

But the times dictated that something be done. In the early 1970s most if not all of agriculture was in turmoil. Demand was tepid and when prices weren’t stagnant they were falling. Overproduction was a ruinous reality. It was farmer against farmer, province against province and devil take the hindmost national trade policies.

Other parts of the economy were also struggling. The 1973-74 recession was sharp, deep and severe.

If one were to invent a time machine and go back to those times the only certainty would be the realization that something had to be done to at least stabilize the situation. For poultry and dairy the federal and provincial governments of the day agreed upon supply management. Using hindsight, the future implications of that agreement can be debated. But what is clear is that at that time doing nothing was not an option. Supply management was the farmers’ and governments’ way to fend off chaos.

This article and the one that follows will provide some context as to why supply management was created.

The mess of the 1960s and 1970s
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Canadian agriculture was – not to put too fine a point on it – a mess.

Incomes were low, prices were dropping, and surpluses piling up. Long established trading patterns were in flux, rural and farm populations were dropping, and governments were struggling to come up with answers.

Royal commissions, white papers, studies and analyses proliferated.

In 1969, the situation was so severe that Saskatchewan Premier Ross Thatcher tried to barter wheat for other goods with foreign customers in an attempt to boost his province’s grain economy.

In 1970, 200 farmers went to the Alberta legislature and gave away 2,000 dozen eggs to protest low egg prices.

But the farm economy was not alone. As Canada moved from the 1960s into the 1970s, the economy slowed, inflation rose, and worse was to come, culminating in a steel crisis that gave rise to the term “rust belt,” the Arab Oil Embargo that shocked the world economy, and, in 1973-74, the worst recession since the 1930s.

A new economic term also entered the lexicon – stagflation. The mix of a stagnant economy and high inflation was toxic. Jobs were disappearing and prices surged.

Everywhere, people were trying to understand what was happening and governments – the Canadian government included – were trying to get a handle on the situation and temper the economic blows. Wage and price controls were tried in Canada, the United States and elsewhere; new farm programs were unveiled and unique monetary measures tested.

The situation was so severe that American investor Warren Buffet, commenting on the recent recession, said it wasn’t as bad as 1973-74 – yet.

Canada also introduced the Food Prices Review Board in 1973 in response to rapidly rising food prices. Under its chairman, Beryl Plumptre, the board set out to look into just about everything. Over the previous two years, housing costs increased 18 per cent, clothing costs increased 17 per cent, but food costs rose by 37 per cent.

A Toronto Star article published in August 1973 said: “Since August, she (Plumptre) has tweaked Whelan’s nose, chicken and turkey marketing, prodded for better beef support schemes, probed into prices and income ideas, monitored chain store prices, called for a more coherent agriculture policy, issued ominous food price reports, and chided members of parliament for seeking large pay increases.”

In 1969, a major report on agriculture done for the federal government was released. “Canadian Agriculture in the Seventies” recommended the government reduce its involvement in agriculture plus phase out subsidies and price supports. It also said the farm population should be reduced, younger low-income farmers should leave farming while older non-viable farmers should be assisted to achieve a better standard of living. The report recommended that farmers shift from wheat and dairy, where surpluses were a chronic problem, to producing other commodities.

The Liberal government went in a different direction. Perhaps this was due to the forceful representations of its rural members, including Bud Olson and Eugene Whelan, or it might have been due to memories of what happened in 1957.

In 1957, the Diefenbaker Conservatives won prairie farmers’ votes after the St. Laurent Liberals had alienated the region by taking a hard-line against agricultural support, Grace Skogstad of the University of Toronto writes in the June 2007 edition of The Canadian Political Science Review.

“When the Liberals were returned to office in the 1960s, farmers were able to pressure the government to enact a series of legislation to support agriculture, including price stabilization measures. As a result, government financial transfers to farmers tripled between 1957-58 and 1972-73.”

The government also enabled supply management.

By the late 1970s, dairy, poultry, and egg producers were all under national marketing boards that regulated domestic supply and prices and protected domestic products from foreign imports, she wrote.
Prairie grain farmers didn’t get the same level of protection. They received stabilization programs designed to blunt the impacts of depressed prices.

But things were changing for grain farmers. Years of burdensome supplies, depressed prices and competition from U.S. sales that masqueraded as food aid to qualify for export subsidies came to a quick end in 1972-73.

In 1972, the Soviet Union embarked on what is called in the U.S. the “Great Grain Robbery.” The Soviet Union had a massive crop failure and was in desperate need for grain. The Soviets had bought on world markets before. In 1963, they quietly negotiated a deal to buy 6.8 million tonnes of wheat from the Canadian Wheat Board, much to the distress of the Americans. By the late 1960s, that looked like a one time thing. Surpluses were again building.

In 1968, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau called U.S. President Richard Nixon and urged him to help save the International Wheat Agreement that had at least provided some price stability. Nixon declined. In the face of lost sales, Canada dropped its wheat price by about 10 per cent and joined the fight.

But it seemed futile. Grain inventories reached the point in 1970 where Canada and other nations established programs that paid farmers not to produce. This reduced production, but demand was so low that inventories remained high.

But in mid-to-late 1972, the Russians were back negotiating grain deals in Washington, Winnipeg and Geneva. When the dust had settled, the Soviet Union had agreed to buy more than 24 million tonnes of grain from Canada, the U.S., Australia and others. Between 1971 and 1975, world trade in grains increased by 50 per cent from around 100 million tonnes annually to more than 150 million tonnes.

The grain surpluses, which had been such a problem, evaporated. Farmers, who just a few years earlier were being paid to idle land, were encouraged to plant fence row to fence row.

All this was good for longsuffering grain farmers but livestock producers were caught. Prices for their biggest input had surged but many consumers, battered by the recession, were struggling and in no position to pay more.

The government was scrambling to find programs that would inject some stability. Marketing boards and supply management were areas in which they had legislative framework that could be built upon. This was most important for dairy, which continued to be in crisis. The opportunity was offered to others, including the hog and cattle industries, but only poultry and eggs joined dairy in adopting full-blown supply management.

In the context of the times, the roots of supply management may be traced back to political and economic events. The Liberal Party’s defeat in the 1957 election taught it that ignoring troubles on the farm would cost it votes and make it unelectable in large parts of the country. It was a mistake they wouldn’t repeat through the 1960s and 1970s. Through those years, much of the policy that emerged came from a search for ways to stabilize agriculture.

In the early 1970s, the search for stability spread into other parts of the economy to counter the effects of a deepening worldwide recession. In this sense, supply management was not just a standalone program to stabilize chronic problems facing dairy and poultry, but part of a larger move to counter a deteriorating national and international economic situation.

The attacks on supply management in the media came fast and furious in November. With the announcement that the federal government was moving forward with its plan to abolish the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) Act and with its stance on protecting supply management relegating it to “observer” status in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks, the attacks were inevitable.

That doesn’t mean all of the criticism is valid. What’s missing from the arguments is context. It’s easy for journalists to jump on the “if the feds get rid of the wheat board they are hypocrites for supporting supply management” bandwagon when they have no understanding of  what supply management is, or why it was created in the first place.

Numerous articles have essentially rehashed the same critical views – that supply management is on the same level as the CWB and should, therefore, be treated equally; that the system results in increased costs to consumers; and that it is a barrier to trade talks. It doesn’t matter which media outlet started the roller-coaster ride that ensued; very few outlets actually did their homework.

As for the media’s criticism, let’s start with the CWB. As my esteemed colleague Jim Knisley points out in his column, critics forget that the CWB is a sole federal entity, whereas supply management is an agreement between the provinces and the federal government. If the federal government wanted to dismantle supply management on a national level, it would still exist on a provincial level. Agriculture minister Gerry Ritz says farmers want marketing freedom, and results from a CWB plebiscite show many of them do. The same cannot be said for farmers under supply management.

To say that supply management is the sole cause of the price disparity in dairy, poultry and eggs between Canada and the U.S. is simply naive. Time after time, the fact that the U.S. treasury subsidizes its country’s agricultural production via consumer taxes and thinly veiled consumer and energy support programs is left out of the discussion. If comparisons are to be made, let’s compare apples to apples and not apples to oranges.

When Canada declared its desire to join the TPP, it was blocked by the U.S. and New Zealand due to its refusal to decrease tariffs on imported dairy products. This led many to believe that trade opportunities with Asia would not be possible without giving up supply management. Not so, according to University of Waterloo professor Bruce Muirhead, who participated in a panel discussion on supply management on TV Ontario’s news program The Agenda. Muirhead said that in the globalization of trade, every country has something to protect and Canada will still be able to make trade deals with participating countries.

What gives such criticism of supply management momentum is the lack of understanding of the system, and its roots.

In this month’s issue, we’ve done our homework, and present a “look back” on the beginnings of supply management, and why it was formed, in order to arm you with information so that when the critics come calling, you can let them know how and why the system makes sense.

Dec. 6, 2011 - Université Laval Professor Maurice Doyon writes in Montreal Gazette that "when Canadian consumers look across the border, they see milk at lower prices than at home. But what they fail to see is that their American neighbours are paying more than just retail price for their milk products."|READ MORE

 

November 15, 2011 – Michael and Gwen Van Gurp of Norwich, Ontario were selected as the recipients of the Egg Farmers of Ontario 2011 New Entrant Quota Loan Pool (NEQLP) program.
"We had to consider the best fit amongst the eligible applicants, across a wide range of variables" said selection committee Chair Laurent Souligny. "It was quite a challenge to select only one individual from such a high caliber group of people."

The selection committee comprised of Laurent Souligny, past EFO Director and former Chair of Egg Farmers of Canada; Darryl Ball, OMAFRA; Craig Bremner, TD Canada Trust; Robert Loree, Ward & Uptigrove and Shannon Kelly, past President of Junior Farmers' Association of Ontario, who came to a decision after reviewing all applications. The Van Gurp's were selected out of a pool of 84 applicants.

"This program was designed to ensure constant renewal of the egg industry and foster the opportunity for individuals to join the Ontario egg industry," said Egg Farmers of Ontario Chair Carolynne Griffith. "We are very pleased with both the results and the level of care the selection committee took in choosing this years' recipient."
The NEQLP program takes place annually.

 

November, 8, 2011 – Egg Farmers of Ontario (EFO) won three 'Best of CAMA' awards and two 'Certificates of Merit' for its "Who Made Your Eggs Today?" campaign at the 'Best of CAMA' Awards Banquet held at the Rimrock Resort Hotel in Banff, Alberta. The annual 'Best of CAMA' awards program celebrates excellence in Agri-Marketing in Canada.

"The response to our 'Who Made Your Eggs Today?' campaign has been tremendous," said Egg Farmers of Ontario Chair Carolynne Griffith. "We are honoured to be recognized for a campaign that we are so proud of."
EFO won for its radio ad series, billboards and transit ads while receiving the 'Certificate of Merit' for video and integrated marketing campaign.

At the centre of the multimedia campaign is the web site www.eggfarmersofontario.ca to help Ontario consumers get to know their local egg farmers. The campaign was inspired by consumer research showing that Ontario consumers are curious about the egg farmers who produce one of Ontario's favourite foods.

This is the second time in 2011 that EFO's 'Who Made Your Eggs Today?' campaign has won prestigious awards. In February, EFO won two Golden ARC Awards from the Agricultural Relations Council (ARC), a national agricultural public relations organization in the United States. Established in 1990, the Golden ARC Awards Contest recognizes the best and brightest in agricultural public relations. EFO is believed to be the first Canadian organization to enter and win a Golden ARC Award.

"I would like to thank our staff and agency partners for their hard work, passion and insight," said EFO General Manager Harry Pelissero. "And of course none of this would have been possible without the egg farm families who so graciously agreed to be our spokespeople. Their stories are what make this campaign a success."
Egg Farmers of Ontario is an association that represents approximately 400 egg farmers and pullet growers in Ontario. It is an independent, self governing organization funded entirely by egg and pullet farmers.

August 30, 2011 - After months of producer consultations nationwide, the Pullet Growers of Canada (PGC) has drafted a detailed application proposal for the Farm Products Council of Canada in pursuit of Part 2 Agency status under the Farm Products Agencies Act.

“We are very pleased with the progress and support we have received to date in this process,” says PGC chair Andy DeWeerd. “However we need to keep the momentum going and see this through to the finish.”
 
Since sanctioning their mandate at their annual general meeting last spring, PGC has conducted a first round of consultations with pullet growers across the country to gather information on the expectations and concerns of producers. From this information a first draft of the Detailed Proposal was developed for the Farm Products Council of Canada to determine any gaps in the process of submission.
 
Another key document derived from the consultations is a draft of the Federal-Provincial Agreement. This document is comprised of a principles-based agreement outlining: the basis of the federal-provincial relationship on pullets; an operating agreement that provides the details of how the relationship might work; and, a quota methodology to set the stage for operating as an Agency.
 
A complete update on PGC activities will be presented to the national and provincial supervisory agencies at the October meeting in Prince Edward Island. And in the coming months PGC will continue their consultations with provincial agencies on the development of the Federal-Provincial Agreement so they may add value and work to identify and resolve any outstanding issues. At the same time PGC will continue working with the Farm Products Council of Canada to fill-in any gaps in required information and prepare the final copy for submission to become a Part 2 Agency.
 
“It is very important to both PGC and this whole process that pullet producers have a voice. PGC exists to express the wants and needs of the pullet producers of Canada,” explains Mr. DeWeerd. “So if anyone has any questions, they should feel free to contact anyone on the executive.”

July 7, 2011 – Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz has appointed Timothy O’Connor to the Farm Products Council of Canada’s (FPCC) Board of Directors.

“As the manager of a large-scale poultry broiler in Oshawa, Ontario, Mr. O’Connor has both the knowledge of the sector and the leadership skills necessary to serve the best interests of our farmers,” Ritz said.

The FPCC plays a key part in Canada's supply management system for poultry and eggs supervising 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. Until 2009, the FPCC was known as the National Farm Products Council.

O’Connor’s appointment is for a four-year term and comes into effect immediately.

O’Connor is also a Director at FarmTech Energy Corporation, a company that has proposed the construction of an ethanol plant in Oshawa.

May 19, 2011 – The Egg Farmers of Canada (EFC), Chicken Farmers of Canada (CFC) and the Turkey Farmers of Canada (TFC) congratulate all of those appointed to the federal Cabinet, in particular Gerry Ritz and Leona Aglukkaq who return as Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister of Health respectively, Ed Fast who is the new Minister of International Trade and Christian Paradis, the new Minister of Industry who also returns as Minister of State (Agriculture).

"The new Cabinet has strong supporters of Canadian agriculture and rural Canada," says EFC Chair Peter Clarke. "These Ministers recognize the importance of growing a stable supply of affordable and nutritious food, such as eggs," he notes.

Mr. Fast hails from the B.C. agricultural riding of Abbotsford where there are numerous egg, poultry and dairy farms operating under supply management. "Mr. Fast understands the importance of supply management to Canada's economy and in job creation; we expect he will be a strong advocate in international trade negotiations for all Canadian agriculture sectors," Mr. Clarke says.

"We look forward to working again with Mr. Ritz on trade and other issues involving farmers," he adds.  Mr. Ritz has a history of working on behalf of farmers.  For example, the Battlefords-Lloydminster MP of Saskatchewan worked closely with egg and poultry organizations in modifying compensation regulations under the Health of Animals Act.  Now, Egg Farmers of Canada is turning its attention to the latest round of Growing Forward consultations that will help define a revised agricultural policy framework.

Christian Paradis of the Quebec riding of Mégantic-L'Érable has a solid knowledge of agriculture and rural life, having held positions as Minister of State for Agriculture and Minister of Natural Resources.  He will bring that knowledge about the importance of agriculture to the Quebec and Canadian economy in his new position as Minister of Industry while also returning as Minister of State for Agriculture.

Mr. Clarke says that when it comes to health matters, EFC will want to address the serving size for eggs found on nutrition labels.  The nutrition label is for a one-egg serving size but Canada's Food Guide recognizes two eggs as a serving, he says.

EFC looks forward to working with these ministers and meeting with them in the coming months.

May 12, 2011 - Egg Farmers of Canada (EFC) today announced that University of Guelph professor Tina Widowski has been named as the new Egg Farmers of Canada Chair in Poultry Welfare.

Professor Widowski is based in the Ontario Agricultural College’s (OAC) Department of Animal and Poultry Science and she leads North America’s largest group of animal welfare scientists as Director of the Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare. In her new role, Professor Widowski will collaborate with researchers on laying hen welfare and egg production, including enriched and aviary systems.


EFC is confident this new seven-year partnership will bring enormous benefits to both the University of Guelph and the Canadian egg industry. For the University, the Chair expands and complements the highly regarded research being done in food and animal welfare. Egg farmers will benefit from the creation of a critical mass of young, well-educated professionals with knowledge of poultry welfare that may become part of the next generation of industry leaders and technical experts.


“This support from Egg Farmers of Canada greatly enhances our leadership and expertise in the field,” said Robert Gordon, Dean of OAC. “In turn, it will help create research opportunities and breakthroughs, support the future leadership in our industry and provide valuable information for producers.”


“Egg Farmers of Canada is very pleased to be teaming up with Tina Widowski, an outstanding researcher we’ve had a chance to work with in recent years,” added EFC Chair Peter Clarke. “We need the brightest minds in our academic institutions to guide our industry forward, which is why we’re delighted to partner with the University of Guelph on poultry welfare research.”


The creation of the Egg Farmers of Canada Chair in Poultry Welfare is made possible thanks to a contribution by EFC. The agreement came into effect in March 2011 and runs through January 2017.


Professor Widowski was appointed to a faculty position in the Department of Animal and Poultry Science in 1990. As director of the Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare at the University of Guelph, her research focuses on housing and management practices and their affect on the physiology, behavior and welfare of poultry and swine. The Campbell Centre is the first research centre of its kind in North America and second of its kind in the world.

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