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PGC re-elects executive


March 25, 2013
By Pullet Growers of Canada

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Mar. 25, 2013, Ottawa, ON – Earlier this month, the annual general meeting of the Pullet Growers of Canada (PGC) reinstated the organizational leadership and updated industry and producers on the latest steps in their pursuit of Agency status under Part 2 of the Farm Products Agencies Act.
 
The AGM marked the re-election of the PGC Executive with the return of Andy DeWeerd (ON) as Chair, Emmanuel Destrijker (QC) as Central Director and Vice-Chair, Cal Dirks (MB) as Western Director and Treasurer and Marc Ouellet (NB) as Eastern Director and Secretary. Jeff Clark (NS) was later elected to the Production Management Committee of Egg Farmers of Canada as the pullet producer representative.
 
“It has been a long road for us to come this far,” said DeWeerd. “However it is imperative that we continue to give this application our full effort and attention so we can see this through to the end.”
 
DeWeerd is referring to PGC’s efforts, four plus years in the making, to bring pullet growers into supply management. There has not been a new commodity to join supply management since 1986 and the pullets are the only part of the feather industry that is not in supply management. Pullets are the young chickens raised specifically to become egg layers. There are approximately 550 pullet producers in Canada.
 
Over the past four years, in preparation for this submission, PGC has consulted with pullet and egg producers across the country as well as provincial supervisory agencies to gather their ideas and ensure all their questions and concerns were addressed. PGC submitted their application on July 17, 2012 to the Farm Products Council of Canada. From there the FPCC accepted written submissions from the public, and the next step will be hearings.
 
PGC is pursuing agency status as it will give them the required legal powers to represent and make decisions on behalf of member pullet grower organizations on issues such as cost of production, disease control, HACCP [Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points] programs and housing standards, among many others. Stable pricing under supply management will allow pullet producers to proactively address their social and environmental responsibilities to the standards expected by Canadians and with consistent national programs.
 
On a national scale, implementing supply management will ensure financial stability for pullet producers across the country allowing sustainable rural communities nationwide, rather than just in the provinces/regions with the most favourable conditions.
 
“As indicated at our AGM, we are moving forward with the support of our industry partners,” summarized DeWeerd. “Being an autonomous agency will give PGC the required legal powers to make decisions on behalf of producers, and most importantly it will give producers their own voice within the industry – a voice they have never had before.”