There was good news, bad news and no news at the CPEPC annual
convention in Niagara Falls in June. The good news came from the turkey
sector where after years of languishing in the doldrums demand for
turkey is growing.
There was good news, bad news and no news at the CPEPC annual convention in Niagara Falls in June. The good news came from the turkey sector where after years of languishing in the doldrums demand for turkey is growing.
Shelly Mandell, chair of CPEPC said: “What is more remarkable is that after many years on a per capita basis the Canadian industry grew production by over five per cent for each of the last two years and is poised for another growth year of six per cent.”
In part the growth in production is the result of a new allocation system, adopted for 2007/08, that divided the market into two distinct segments – the whole bird market and the deli market.
There is also good news on the table egg front. Sales of table eggs are heading upward reversing a trend to gradual decline in sales.
“It appears CEMA marketing efforts are finding some traction,” Mandell said. It is also clear that “Specialty eggs such as Omega 3, brown eggs, free run and organic eggs are finding favour with the consumer.”
Supplying eggs to the breaking market has been more problematical but solid progress is being made.
Mandell said: “A consistent supply from Canadian sources has been hard to achieve requiring significant imports to meet breaker requirements at certain times of the year.”
However “the import assistance program has helped significantly and the agency’s NEST (National Egg Supply Team) initiative will address the supply situation in the future,” he said.
The bad news is on the chicken front.
Mandell said: “In the chicken sector, although the market has improved, the allocation system has not.”
While allocation decisions helped to improve the market in the second half of last year and the first half of this year “due to CFC’s inability to adopt improvements to the allocation system we risk repeating the entire cycle again this year,” he said.
“With the increase in live costs, due to feed, our members are expecting to feel the pinch as we continue with the boom/bust cycle from which supply management is supposed to shield us,” he said.
Robin Horel, president and CEO of CPEPC, said: “The chicken allocation system continues to frustrate CPEPC’s chicken sector members. This frustration is now shared by the other downstream stakeholders at the Chicken Farmers of Canada board table.”
Processors want a system that “results in profitability, predictability and sustainability for all members of the supply chain,” Horel said.
In the CPEPC’s issues report the organization noted that producers decided to allocate 8.2 per cent more production this summer than last “despite all the downstream stake-holder’s warnings concerning risk to the market and the potential for required over correction and a return to the boom/bust cycle.”
“It is apparent that the system does not aid in making good allocation decisions, on those occasions when good decisions are made it is despite the system,” the issues report said.
The WTO was responsible for no news.
“We have made virtually no progress over the past year at the WTO negotiations. Deadlines have come and gone, and with the current Trade Promotion Authority (TPA – also known as fast track authority) in the U.S. expiring, and with an election looming, more are imminent,” Mandell said.
Negotiations were suspended in July 2006, and since then the majority of the “action” has been confined to small groups meeting behind closed doors with little in the way of results. (Shortly after the meeting negotiations between Brazil, India, the United States and the EU – the so-called G4 – broke down over U.S. and European agriculture subsidies and continued protection for service and manufacturing industries in developing countries.)
While most countries say they remain committed to the WTO process “many countries are filling the vacuum by working on bilateral deals with other countries,” Mandell said.
But despite the failure of the talks to move forward “one thing is certain,” he said, “there is no comfort for supply management from any of the potential proposals currently on the table.”
Robin Horel repeated the message in his speech to the CPEPC.
“From a supply management point of view some of the most important aspects of the Canadian position advanced years ago, which included transparent rules for TRQ administration and real, clean access by all countries to an agreed percentage of a current year’s production, have not received the traction we hoped for and there is currently nothing on the table that gives Canada’s supply managed poultry industries any comfort.”
Max Weiner Award
The Max Weiner award was presented to Henry Lansik by Bruce McCullagh of Maple Leaf. Lansik began his poultry career as a high school student in his hometown of Seaforth, Ont., when he started working part-time at the local hatchery.
After completing his education, he spent his first two years working for Lodsdon H&W Hatcheries in Ohio. He then returned to Ontario to work in his father’s construction business, but couldn’t stay away from poultry for long. Soon afterwards he began working as a breeder service representative and later in sales for Monkton Poultry Farms.
From there he moved on to become a shareholder and salesman for Horizon Poultry, expanding the business to include breeding operations and a joint venture with Schneider Foods.
His list of accomplishments is long. He is a founding member of the Broiler Hatching Egg and Chick Commission in Ontario, served as an executive committee member of both the CPEPC and the Canadian Chicken Marketing Agency, and a two-time president of the Ontario Hatcheries Association and the Canadian Hatchery Federation. He has also been an active member of numerous industry boards. n
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