March 1927 – Editorial
By Canadian Poultry
The time for action is now
By Canadian Poultry
The movement for the formation of a poultrymen’s organization comes at a most opportune time; poultrymen who have not yet done so will be well advised to rally to the support of the movement for which D. E. Mackenzie, of the Provincial Exhibition, New Westminster, is acting secretary.
Poultrymen have talked about their troubles long enough, particularly so far as the aimless, individual, listless grousing is concerned. It is imperatively time for action now.
The history of the poultry industry in British Columbia has so far been one of recurring cycle of good times and bad times; and the bad times have been particularly bad. Their occurrence has lead to the disappearance of many small poultrymen, the loss of much capital and time invested in poultry and poultry plants, and blots on the otherwise fair fame of the industry and the province.
Indications are accumulating that unless poultrymen take united action and prevent it, a recurrence of one of the worst bad spells the industry has experienced is approaching.
Poultrymen must either drop petty jealousies and combine in a real cooperative organization, or resign themselves to a slum and the demoralization of the egg market, which is the backbone of their industry.
Cannot poultrymen see that united action on their part in their own interests is the only method of solution of their problems and the only salvation from disaster? Are poultrymen so blind that a fact apparent to everyone else, and taken advantage of by many not themselves poultrymen, evades them? There are none so blind as those who won’t see. Right now the handwriting on the wall is most significant.
There has been an increased production of baby chicks so far of forty per cent this season over last; facts within the knowledge of the editor of this magazine show that forty per cent more chicks well be hatched for the whole season. With forty per cent more pullets laying than are producing now, what is going to be the condition of the egg market next season? Unless poultrymen unite, and stay untied, a slump appears inevitable no later than twelve months from date – and it may come much earlier.
The crisis is here now: this is the time for action; never was action more urgently needed. One year, or less, of untied action will solve the problem. The time for action is the present. If poultrymen are ever to emerge from the toils of market manipulators and outside profiteers; if they are ever to stabilize an industry which should become increasingly great, and if they are ever to consolidate, their position and the obtaining of fair returns from their investment, knowledge and labor – IT MUST BE DONE NOW.
They must not only unite, but they must remain united. They must resist offers of 2 cents, 3 cents or even 4 cents per dozen more for their eggs from outsiders working only to break their organization. Anyone who offers so much above current market prices can only do it in the assurance of being able later, to in turn “soak” the producer. If poultrymen unite and stay united, within a year outsiders will be effectually dealt with. United action and loyalty to a co-operative of their own for one year will enable poultrymen to free themselves for ever from the incubus which has sat upon their shoulders like an old man of the sea hitherto and stabilize the market and their industry. But it must be loyalty.
If poultrymen will agree to send their eggs to one selling organization, to their own selling organization, they have the remedy in their own hands for the most serious, and pressing of their problems. If they take the temporary nickel which designing traders may occasionally flourish before their eyes in preference to the assured dollar ultimately certain from their own organization they will continue to lounder in a morass of difficulty.
So certain is the fact that with poultrymen loyal the marketing could be stabilized with satisfactory results to producers that we are prepared to guarantee the right man and sufficient capital to prove this fact – provided poultrymen will loyally abide by an agreement in their own interests. We have gone into this matte carefully. With seventy per cent or over of the commercial poultrymen of British Columbia loyally shipping eggs to their own organization or to a head designated by themselves, stabilization of the egg market – of the poultry industry – is assured. And if the poultrymen will provide their loyalty, they will find the man and the capital to stabilize the poultry industry.
An essential to success is storage facilities; in our view the government might well be asked to finance the provision or acquisition of storage facilities on a sound financial basis, which would enable the initial lack of capital to be surmounted.
So convinced are we that one year would prove the truth of our submissions that if seventy per cent, or more of the commercial poultrymen will loyally ship to one headquarters their eggs for one year we will find the marketing man and the capital to execute the plan.
The marketing of eggs is not easy; but it is comparatively easy if control of the eggs is assured as a start, and if competent marketing authorities plan and guide a real marketing organization.
The essential is loyal and united poultrymen.