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National poultry groups respond to TPP


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October 7, 2015 – The Chicken Farmers of Canada, the Egg Farmers of Canada, the Turkey Farmers of Canada, the Canadian Hatching Egg Producers and the Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors Council have issued statements regarding the increased access to the Canadian poultry market in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. 

Chicken Farmers of Canada 

While Chicken Farmers of Canada (CFC) is disappointed with the additional access that Canada had to concede to secure a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, we recognize that this historic TPP agreement is seen as an important benefit to the Canadian economy for years to come.


The key part of the announcement is the government’s firm commitment to immediately ending fraudulent import practices that have plagued the industry for over five years, says Dave Janzen, CFC Chair.

While we were unable to prevent important concessions on top of the substantial market access that Canada already provides to its chicken market, we appreciate the steadfast efforts of International Trade Minister Fast and Canada’s negotiators to blunt the irresponsible access demands of some key TPP members, he continues.

As a result of the TPP agreement, Canada will be required to increase its market access for chicken by 28% to almost 10% of our consumption. This is a heavy hit. Given this additional access, we are counting on the government to cease the practice of regularly issuing supplementary import allocations.

Nonetheless, Chicken Farmers of Canada is pleased that the government announced that it will put in place long-term, meaningful fixes to end existing practices that have cost the chicken industry thousands of jobs, millions of kilograms in production, millions of dollars in revenues and millions of dollars in GDP contributions to the Canadian economy.

This historic TPP agreement, when combined with these long-term fixes to re-establish the integrity of the import control pillar for chicken, will provide the chicken industry with a generation of stability and certainty.

These current fraudulent practices include being able to import unlimited quantities of chicken by simply adding sauce or other ingredients, importing spent fowl and falsely declaring it as chicken, and allowing companies to substitute high-value imported cuts with low-value domestic cuts for re-export.

The government understands that rules are being bent, loopholes are being exploited, and that people are getting away with outright fraud to the detriment of the Canadian chicken industry, the economy and the Canadian consumer, says Janzen.

Chicken farmers across the country have appreciated the support of provincial governments and ministers, several of whom made the journey to Atlanta this past week to ensure that supply management remained an evolving, innovative risk management system that works for Canada’s farmers, processors, and consumers.

This support, along with that of Canada’s party leaders and, indeed, of Canadians themselves, has ensured that the Canadian chicken industry can continue to provide Canada’s favourite meat.

Chicken Farmers of Canada looks forward to working positively with the government to ensure a prosperous and sustainable future for the chicken industry and its many contributions to the fabric and economy of Canada.

Egg Farmers of Canada 

On behalf of the Canadian egg industry, Egg Farmers of Canada (EFC) appreciates the work of the Government for its part in reaching a 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership deal. The final agreement has granted additional access to the Canadian egg market in the order of 16.7 million dozen eggs, increasing to 18.8 million (or approximately 2.3% of production). Canada’s participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership brings many benefits to the sector and the Canadian economy. We recognize the opportunity the Trans-Pacific Partnership brings to Canada and the overall benefits the agreement brings to the economy as a whole.

While the increase in additional required imports is not without impact—Canadians will be purchasing more imported products that they normally count on as being fresh and local—we are confident that our industry’s resiliency and growth will lessen the impact on the farmers we represent.

“We believe that supply management for eggs, poultry and dairy is both beneficial and essential to Canada, especially in the context of our solid domestic market-focused policy that allows us to produce eggs for Canadians that are among the best in the world ,” said Peter Clarke, Chairman of Egg Farmers of Canada. “Today’s agreement demonstrates that the Canadian egg industry will continue as an integral part of Canada’s agricultural future and will continue to deliver exceptional benefits to consumers in Canada while at the same time allowing other sectors to benefit from the export market.”

Additional time and analysis is required to fully understand the potential future impact of such a result on not just our farmers, but the entire value chain on which Canadian consumers depend. EFC, along with other supply-managed commodities, will work with government on the details of the agreement to ensure that the provisions agreed to do not jeopardize our Government’s commitment to maintain the integrity of the import control pillar of our system and to ensure our farmers can continue to deliver to our consumers the Canadian products they expect, need and enjoy.

The egg industry appreciates the support of the Government and the adept ability of negotiators, civil servants and elected officials to maintain supply management and to expand trade opportunities for agriculture industries with greater export potential. Canada has successfully concluded many free trade agreements while maintaining the system of supply management and egg farmers are satisfied it was once again accomplished in the final TPP agreement.

Turkey Farmers of Canada

Canadian turkey farmers and their families have been following the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations for the last several years and recognize the importance of this agreement to the Canadian economy. Representatives from Turkey Farmers of Canada (TFC) were in Atlanta as Ministers negotiated the final details of the agreement this week, and were concerned to learn of substantial new access provided to the Canadian turkey market under the final agreement announced on October 5th. 

Over the coming days and weeks, TFC will conduct a detailed evaluation of the challenges this agreement will bring to our farmers and the sector generally, as turkey production is displaced from Canadian farms. We will also undertake an evaluation of the mitigating steps offered to the Canadian turkey sector as a result of the concessions made at the Atlanta Ministerial meeting.

This analysis will provide the foundation for further work with the Federal Government in order to determine the needed mitigation measures moving forward based on elements of the agreement, as negotiated. It is imperative that the Government follows through on its commitment to work with TFC in this regard.

Speaking from Atlanta following the release of a closing statement from TPP Ministers’, TFC Chair, Mark Davies, commented on the outcome of the negotiations.

“Although the additional access granted to the Canadian turkey market will certainly be challenging, the finalization of the TPP agreement removes the cloud of uncertainty farmers have been living with over the last several years. We trust this will provide a stable, predictable trading environment moving forward, as the Government predicts.”

Turkey Farmers of Canada appreciates the support over the course of the negotiations and in Atlanta, from industry participants, the Federal Government, Provincial governments, and officials.

We remain committed to working with the Government in the days and weeks ahead to achieve positive results for Canadian turkey farmers, their families, and Canada’s rural communities under a strong supply management marketing system.

Canadian Hatching Egg Producers 

Canadian Hatching Egg Producers (CHEP) has learned that, as part of the final TPP agreement, concessions will be made in eggs, poultry, and dairy, which operate in Canada under a unique system called supply management.

Supply management ensures that Canadian farmers are able to receive a fair return for their work. It is a system that keeps Canadian jobs in Canada. 

The concessions for broiler hatching eggs represent approximately 1.54% of the Canadian market. While necessary to secure a deal, it still represents a loss for Canadian hatching egg farmers. CHEP regrets the necessity of these concessions, while recognizing the opportunity that the Trans-Pacific Partnership represents for Canadian agriculture as a whole. CHEP is confident that the resiliency and innovative focus of Canadian farmers will lessen the impact of these concessions on the Canadian hatching egg industry.

Despite these concessions, Canadian hatching egg farmers will continue to invest in their operations and grow their businesses. 

CHEP recognizes that the preservation of supply management’s three pillars is good for Canada, as are recent commitments the government made today to compensate farmers that were negatively affected. Supply management is responsible for over $28 billion in GDP and supports over 330,000 jobs in every province and territory, and its preservation is critical for the country’s future.

Although these market access concessions are disappointing, we understand that, due to intense pressure from other countries, they were necessary to secure a deal for all Canadians, CHEP chair Jack Greydanus said on Monday. We applaud the government’s defense of the supply management system and look forward to working with them as this agreement is implemented.

While additional time will be needed to determine the full scope and impact of this agreement, the hatching egg industry recognizes the hard work that Canadian government officials and negotiators have put into securing this outcome for Canada.

Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors Council 

The Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors Council (CPEPC) welcomes the completion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations.

Canadian chicken, turkey and egg processors, egg graders and hatcheries will be impacted by the additional market access granted as a result of this agreement.

Nevertheless, CPEPC recognizes the importance of this agreement to the overall Canadian economy. During our attendance at the talks in Atlanta, Georgia, CPEPC appreciated the support of the Canadian government and the negotiators in concluding the negotiations — providing clarity around the future of supply management.

Additional time and analysis is required to fully understand the impact this agreement will have on the Canadian poultry and egg industry. Meanwhile, we appreciate the programs announced by the Government to support processors as the industry adapts to the changes resulting from this agreement.

The industry has noted government’s commitment to introducing mitigation measures in the form of border controls. Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors Council and our members will continue to work with government over the coming months on these and other administrative issues required to implement Canada’s commitments to the TPP.

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