Canadian Poultry Magazine

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Provincial Annual Meetings


January 22, 2008
By Canadian Poultry

Topics

British Columbia Chicken Growers Annual Meeting, British Columbia Egg Marketing Board’s Annual Meeting, Manitoba Chicken Production Holding Steady, Food Safety, Animal Welfare, Environmental Concerns Highlight Manitoba Egg Producers Annual Meeting, Manitoba Turkey Producers Successfully Argue For Higher Allocation For Non-Bagged Product, Nova Scotia Egg Producers Call for other Provinces to End Quota Allocation Dispute, N.S. Turkey Producers Annual Meeting, Chicken Farmers of Nova Scotia Annual Meeting

British Columbia Chicken Growers Annual Meeting

By David Schmidt

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Although
it had almost all the trappings of an annual meeting, including
elections for both the BC Chicken Marketing Board and the BC Chicken
Growers Association, the Mar 12th meeting in Abbotsford could not be
called an annual meeting.

The board could not hold an official
annual meeting because its scheme specifies the annual meeting be held
in or after May. An association attempt to revise its bylaws in January
to move the annual meeting to March from May failed. As a result, both
the board and association provided annual reports, held elections and
listened to special guests but neither presented annual financial
statements.

New BCCGA president Kerry Froese highlighted the
association’s increased efforts at awareness and education. The BCCGA
sponsored Agriculture in the Classroom, hosted the Abbotsford Chamber
of Commerce on an “Eggs & Wings Tour” complete with a new video
describing the industry and just completed a mobile demonstration barn.

BCCMB chair Ron Kilmury called the new barn a “wonderful tool” for increasing awareness of the industry.

The
industry’s 318 growers produced about 146.5 million kgs of chicken last
year. Despite a 550 thousand dollar penalty from Chicken Farmers of
Canada for two periods of overproduction, BC hit 101.5 percent of its
allocation and actually produced 5.3 percent less chicken than the year
previous.

The board will continue to assess growers who
produce over 106 percent of their allocation. The fees will be used to
pay CFC penalties with any excess returned to all growers on a pro rata
basis. Kilmury stressed penalties will not be returned directly to
overproducers, except through a prorata distribution.

CFC
chair David Fuller acknowledged growers were “more responsive” in 2006
than the year previous but said more work needs to be done to bring
production in line with demand.

“We don’t take allocation
seriously,” he charged, insisting “we can improve our competitiveness
and profitablity if we work together as an industry.”

Telling
their side of the story were processor Tony Spiteri of Lilydale Foods
and Scott Cummings of Sunrise Poultry Processors. Spiteri described
Lilydale’s diversified line of consumer-ready branded products, saying
they have led to increased profits for the company.

“Last year was the third best in our 66-year history,” he reported.

Cummings
agreed the future lies in further processed products. Sunrise’s new
Lethbridge plant is “exceeding expectations” and their Abbotsford
further processing plant is adding a third cooking line.

“Our
problem is procuring enough chicken for the new markets,” he said,
telling the CFC “growth in BC and Alberta is outpacing the rest of the
country.”

BC’s national director Keith Fuller agreed. “The
growth of chicken in the provinces doesn’t always match the population
and that has to be recognized,” he said.

New election rules made the board election one of the most controversial ever.

Each
registered grower was required to designate a voting representative.
The rep did not need to have an interest in the quota, nor was there a
limit to the number of quota holdings a person could represent, As a
result, both incumbent Dave Martens and challenger Ted De Vries,
obtained multiple designations in attempts to control the voting.
Growers showed their displeasure by instead electing challenger (and
former board member and association president) Rick Thiessen. Thiessen
had strongly denounced the practice, insisting he would be the designee
for only his and his wife’s quota holdings.

Although Kilmury
insisted the election policy had been followed and the rules approved
by the Farm Industry Review Board, he promised the board would review
the procedure for future elections.

After losing the board
election, Martens ran for an association director’s position but
growers were not ready to forgive. They reelected Gord Esau, Froese and
Art Penner and selected Elsie Lapinsky to fill the fourth available
position, in the process defeating Martens and Ravi Bathe.

 
British Columbia Egg Marketing Board’s Annual Meeting

By David Schmidt

Although
change is going on in the egg industry, the issues of the past few
years remain, BC Egg Marketing Board chair David Taylor told the BCEMB
annual meeting in Vancouver, Mar 9th.

Last year’s major issues
included development of the new mandatory biosecurity program,
completion of the specialty review and implementation of new orders
regarding specialty production, quota transfers and assessments.

While
they have gone a long way in addressing the issues, both Taylor and
general manager Arlene Lannon admitted the new specialty regulations
have not completely resolved specialty production disputes.

“We
are now dealing with ten different appeals to the BC Farm Industry
Review Board, most to do with the new specialty orders,” Lannon said.

Nor
have they fully met the demand for specialty (organic, free range and
free run) eggs which “is growing by leaps and bounds. The graders tell
us that’s where they are making their money” despite having to pay
premiums for specialty production, Lannon said.

Overall BC egg
consumption increased by 2.7 percent last year, led by the increased
demand for specialty eggs. Lannon also credited “consumer confidence in
our industry” and the BC Fresh Eggs marketing program.

Marketing
consultant John Kalil says the BC campaign is shifting to egg
preparation, using “Eggs-Good and Fast” as its theme. The change is due
to a market research study which showed consumers believe eggs take too
much time and effort to prepare. The campaign will involve microwavable
egg recipes and promote the use of a growing variety of microwave egg
cookers.

While provincial disputes largely involve specialty
production, BCEMB national director Fred Krahn says national disputes
are about relative provincial allocations. Saskatchewan continues to
claim “comparative advantage” as a reason it should get increased quota
and has rejected a Canadian Egg Marketing Agency quota proposal as
inadequate.

“It may not be possible to stay out of court on that issue,” Krahn stated.
More
positively, Krahn notes recent increases in the Urner-Barry (US base)
price have reduced the financial pressure on CEMA. Overall pool
balances ended the year at 14 million dollars, about 4.4 million better
than expected. They remained at 14 million at the end of February,
instead of dropping to 4.8 million as expected.

Lannon also
announced that BC’s new poultry biosecurity program is now being rolled
out at the farm level. The first in Canada, it will serve as a model
for an eventual mandatory national program. She praised the “great
co-operation among all the feather agencies” during creation of the
biosecurity protocols.

The election resulted in one new/old face
on the board as Walter Siemens defeated incumbent Jack Vaandrager.
Siemens was off the board for the past four years after completing a
previous consecutive term limit but producers were obviously pleased to
welcome him back. It is possible future producers could elect more than
one Fraser Valley producer each year. Currently, the board requires one
elected director from Vancouver Island, one from the Interior and two
from the Fraser Valley. Since quota can move freely within the province
and 80 percent of it is located in the Fraser Valley, producers passed
a resolution calling for removal of geographic restrictions on
directors.

FIRB, which will ultimately make that decision, may
not agree, as it continues to promote regionalization. “We can’t lose
sight of the fact other areas of the province are interested in joining
this industry,” FIRB chair Richard Bullock reminded producers.

As
a BCEMB director, Vaandrager was proudest of serving on the production
management committee. “We’ve been able to resolve complaints,” he said.
He reminded producers to keep their neighbours in mind, saying “we need
to show the public we are proud of our farms.”

He clearly leads by example, as Vaandrager was one of three producers to win the BCEMB’s inaugural producer of the year awards.

The
awards are given out to producers who are in good standing with the
BCEMB and have scored over 95 percent in both the Start Clean Stay
Clean and Animal Care Programs. Joining Vaandrager (Jaron Farms) as
winners of the are John Janzen of Jayline Poultry and James Gunther of
Jake’s Poultry.

 
Manitoba Chicken Production Holding Steady
By Myron Love

Manitoba
chicken production held steady last year 40.4 million kgs eviscerated –
about the same record level that was reached in 2005.

"Chicken
consumption seems to have levelled off," Manitoba Chicken Producers
(MCP) chairman Waldie Klassen noted in his annual report to producers
attending the MCP's 39th annual general meeting which was held at the
Caboto Centre in Winnipeg on Thursday, April 12. "We are hoping to see
an increase in consumption again soon so that we can expand the
industry."

On the hatching egg side, Manitoba production
production was up 2.08% in 2006 standing at 32,623,684 eggs as compared
to 31,957,583 the year before, MCP general manager Wayne Hiltz
reported. Imported eggs were down 15.12% to 5,254. 000 as compared to
6,190,842 in 2005.

In his report, Hiltz noted that last yeart
the MCP board reallocated two lots of hatching egg quota and one of
broiler quota. The former went to existing producers while the latter
was allocated to a new producer.

It has been two years now since
the MCP merged with the smaller Manitoba Broiler Hatching Egg
Commission and Waldie Klassen observed that the amalgamation has been
beneficial for all concerned. "The board members and staff have worked
hard to make the merged system work well," he said.

In his
report, he also spoke about the new "Regulation Act" – or "Chicken
Broiler Quota Order". "We think it is a good, up-to-date document which
will help the administration of our Manitoba supply management system,"
he commented.

He noted that Manitoba continues to follow Ontario's lead in broiler pricing.

He
reported that MCP staff continue to work with producers on the OFFSAT
program and that all broiler producers were validated by year's end.

"We are continuing to work with hatching egg producers on the issue," he said.

Klassen
also spoke about the issues of manure handling and the disposal of
mortalities. Although hog farmers receive most of the scrutiny in these
matters, he observed that the level of phosphorous in Manitoba
waterways is a major concern and that all farmers are expected to do
their part in reducing phosphorous runoff.

In his report, Wayne
Hiltz touched on World Trade Organization deliberations and the
excellent response of all concerned to a potential outbreak of aviation
flu – although, as he noted, the pandemic hasn't come yet.

Karen
Armstrong. the MCP's communications person, spoke of the organization's
marketing efforts last year and what is in store for this year.

"We focus on promoting chicken as a healthy, easy to prepare meal choice, raised with care by local farmers," she said.

The
marketing campaign included television and radio spots, the releases of
Volume 5 of a recipe book series the MCP introduced in 2004 and the new
online Manitoba Chicken Buying Guide (available at www.chicken.mb.ca) to help consumers identify Manitoba chicken at the stores and which stores and restaurants carry local chicken.

Also
addressing the AGM were MLA Tom Nevakshonoff, filling in for Manitoba
Agriculture Minister Rosann Wowchuk, and Ed DeJong, immediate past
CBHEMA chair.

There are 150 producers registered with the MCP. The AGM attracted an attendance of about 180.

 
Food Safety, Animal Welfare, Environmental Concerns
Highlight Manitoba Egg Producers Annual Meeting

By Myron Love

Walter
Ziegler, a producer (laying hens and pullets) from the Morden-Winkler
area in southwestern Manitoba, is the recipient of the Manitoba Egg
Producers (MEP) Egg Farmer of the Year Award for 2006.

The winner was announced at the MEP's 35th Annual General Meeting on
Wednesday,
March 14, at the Victoria Inn in Winnipeg. The criteria for the award –
which was introduced six years ago – take into consideration food
safety, animal care and environmental stewardship – the issues that
were front and centre at the meeting this year.

In presenting
the board report, MEP Board chair Kurt Siemens highlighted those
themes. He congratulated the ten producers who achieved Part 3 of the
"Start Clean-Stay Clean on-farm food safety program and received their
Audited Standard Certificates from CEMA in 2006 (which brings to 20 the
number of certified facilities in Manitoba). He touched on the avian
flu situation – including "practice drills" on his own and another farm
– and the MEP's effort to promote greater bio-security on the farms. He
reported on the World Trade Organization and the growing challenge from
animal rights activists which are leading producers to examine and
change the way they house hens and pullets.

"The MEP firmly
advocates adherence to the Recommended Code of Practice for the care
and handling of pullets, layers and spent fowl as the best defence
against animal rights activists," he said.

He also spoke about
the provincial government's campaign to reduce phosphorous from waste
and run-off flowing into an ailing Lake Winnipeg.

"Although the
focus is mainly on the hog industry," he said, "we have to accept our
share of responsibility to protect Manitoba's precious water resources."

In
speaking about quality assurance programs, MEP general manager Paula
Kelly also focused on on-farm food safety and the environment. She
noted that the public by and large trusts producers to provide safe,
good quality food. "Trust is a fragile thing and must be nurtured," she
said.

"Once lost, it is very difficult to restore. That is why
we have to demonstrate our commitment through action such as adherence
to the Code of Practice and participating in on-farm food safety
programs.

That sense of trust, that bond between the farm family
and the consumer continues to be one of the focuses of the MEP's
marketing campaigns. Over the last three years, the (MEP) carried out a
successful marketing campaign promoting the health benefits and
versatility of eggs and emphasizing individual egg producers and their
families in the ads.

Brenda Bazylewski, the MEP's marketing and
communications co-ordinator, presented an overview at the meeting of
the upcoming campaign.

MEP last year placed full page ads in
three publications, reaching over 120,000 people in Winnipeg quarterly,
and will do so again this year.

The ads are accompanied by two pages of egg recipes.

This
year, the MEP is running ads on the backs of buses and other venues
promoting eggs as "rich in protein for lasting energy". The eggs are
personalized and shown partaking in sporting and fitness activity.

This year, as well, the MEP is sponsoring a number of sporting events where eggs as energy can be spotlighted.

Other
MEP marketing tools are the organization's Eggs-ercise brochures for
phys-ed teachers. resource materials for teachers and the MEP website.

In
presenting the pullet report, director Cal Dirks noted that there were
one successful quota exchanges in 2006 (as compared to five the year
before) with a clearing price of $7.30.

Last year as well, the Board approved four requests for special permits, as compared to nine the year before.

"The
Pullet Committee met during the year to develop a Pullet Quota
Standdown/Carry Forward Policy which accommodates both planned
circumstances – such as a major renovation – and disasters beyond a
grower's control where mortality exceeds 25%," Dirks said. "The policy
was adopted by the Board on June 8."

Producers attending the
Annual Meeting also heard an update on world trade negotiations and
CEMA activities from MEP board member and CEMA representative Harold
Froese and CEMA CEO Tim Lambert, greetings from Rosann Wowchuk,
Manitoba's Minister of Agriculture, and a presentation by Bob Friesen
of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture.

The Annual Meeting
this year drew 216 producers and guests. about the same number as last
year. In total, there were 175 egg and pullet producers in Manitoba in
2006, slightly down from the year before.

 
Manitoba Turkey Producers Successfully Argue For Higher Allocation For Non-Bagged Product

By Myron Love

In
the new CTMA National Allocation program, Manitoba Turkey Producers
representatives had to put up a strong fight last fall for the
allocation that the MTP requested for its non-bagged production.

As
Bill Uruski, the MTP's chairman, explained to producers attending the
organization's 38th annual General Meeting on Tuesday, March 6, 2007,
in Winnipeg, national allocations are to be divided into two categories
– bagged whole turkeys for the domestic market with allocations
determined on a regional basis – and non-bagged turkeys for further
processing.

National allocations for the latter category are to
be determined by processor demand – with the processor having to show
that the market is there.

In this case the principal processor was Granny's Poultry, Uruski noted.

"We
had a substantial disagreement with the national board about our
allocation for further processing," Uruski said. "We had a processor
with certain contractual requirements. The national board initially
voted down our request for a higher allocation for non-bagged turkeys.
We appealed and got the board to change their decision. The result is
that Manitoba has been allocated an additional 909,000 kg's
eviscerated."

Uruski noted however that the MTP is still
concerned. "We intend to remain vigilant," he said. "We will be
watching closely to see how the new allocation process evolves. We
expect the national board to follow the spirit and intent of the
program."

Uruski also reported that the MTP partnered with the
provincial government last year to train staff to conduct on-farm food
safety inspections. "We are also offering producers retraining in the
stages involved in our on-farm food safety program," he said. "The
auditing process will be starting in the spring.

Producers who
aren't prepared when inspections take place will have to pay for any
subsequent inspections out of their own pocket."

Uruski further
noted that the MTP board has conducted a thorough review of the Turkey
Quota Order and is considering a number of amendments. One such
amendment deals with the leasing of quota, which some producers had
been arranging at the begining of a marketing year instead of waiting
until the end of the year.

"We may also suspend the markey
allotment for producers who can't or don't produce their full
allocation and don't let the board know," he said.

"If we know the producer can't produce his full market allotment, we can reallocate some of the quota."

There
are 64 producers in Manitoba. In 2006, there was one complete farm sale
from one corporation to a new partnership and one sale of a farm from a
partnership to an existing corporate producer. There was also a merger
of two corporate producers, a new producer incorporated and one
reallotment of quota due to the death of the producer.

Also
addressing the AGM were outgoing CMTA chair Brent Montgomery, Keystone
Agricultural Producers president Ian Wishart, National Farm Products
Council Manitoba representative Susan Johnson and NDP MLA Tom
Nevakshonoff representing the provincial government in place of the
ailing Rosann Wowchuk, the Minister of Agriculture.

Perry reports that there were 115 attendees at the annual meeting this year.

 
Nova Scotia Egg Producers Call for other Provinces to End Quota Allocation Dispute

By Dan Woolley

Nova
Scotia Egg Producers CEMA representative hopes the NSEP can get more
support from the other provincial egg boards on the quota allocation
dispute triggered by Saskatchewan to send a message to the prairie
province that "enough is enough."

Peter Clarke told the NSEP
annual meeting Saskatchewan’s continued challenge to the national quota
allocation is not good for Canadian egg producers.

Gordon
Hunter, National Farm Products Council acting chairman, echoed Clarke,
saying Saskatchewan’s allocation challenge prevented the issuance of a
quota order in 2006. "I can’t think of anything more dangerous for the
survival of supply management than the lack of a quota order."

Although
the egg industry faced a lot of challenges in 2006, noted Clarke, it
has also improved its financial position with better market prices due
to higher egg prices in the US market because of a reduction in the
U.S. egg supply.

Low U.S. egg prices, coupled with a stronger Canadian dollar, had depleted the
Canadian
egg industry’s Pooled Income Fund which is funded by a levy on table
eggs to stabilize the price of eggs for the processing (breaker) market.

Clarke insisted there must be less reliance on the levy and an alternative pricing system for the processed products sector.

As
for fair compensation for flock losses due to Avian Influenza , he
continued eight dollars a bird is totally unacceptable. To ensure
prompt reporting of an on-farm disease outbreak, "You need to feel you
have compensation you are comfortable with."

Patti Wyllie, NSEP
general manager, told the annual meeting NSEP’s PERP (Poultry Emergency
Response Plan) to control disease outbreaks will require two things:
all producers will have an emergency contact list at their farm for
which they will soon receive a template for the list which they should
complete as soon as possible and return to the NSEP office.

Mrs. Wyllie said the office will then be able to help make any calls when required.

In
the event of an emergency there will be no release of producer
information unless it is under certain circumstances when it is
basically necessary, she said, adding NSEP will test its PERP early in
April.

On the animal care issue, Clarke cautioned producers to
be aware that animal rights groups like PETA are now moving into Canada
seeking opportunities to challenge animal agriculture.

In some
US states, he noted, there is consideration of legislation to ban cages
or give citizens the right to challenge animal husbandry practices,
plus there are also university students and faculty who are cage-free
activists. "What happens in the U.S. and Europe can happen here."

Clark advised producers to be wary of requests for farm visits as they could be coming from animal rights activists.

He
suggested to producers that they "look for opportunities to get your
message out about the way we handle our poultry so that when people
make their food-buying decisions they have both sides of the story."

As
for product marketing, Debbie Richardson, NSEP’s promotions
coordinator, is now working with the Sobeys and Superstore retail
chains to spread the message of eggs health benefits.

She is
also negotiating with the Nova Scotia Heart and Stroke Foundation on a
new initiative to be launched next fall as a walking program to
encourage people to get active.

She said it follows the CEMA market initiative promoting eggs as a good, healthy source of sustainable energy.

Ms.
Richardson is also working on a project for the popular regional
Breakfast Television program to encourage people to eat eggs during the
week and not just on weekends.

This is a joint initiative with
egg marketers in Newfoundland-Labrador and Prince Edward Island, she
said. "What we would like to do is increase people’s awareness of the
convenience of eggs."

 
N.S. Turkey Producers Annual Meeting

By Al Kingsbury

After
struggling for many years, the Nova Scotia turkey industry is “once
again an enjoyable business to be in,” David Young reported to the 35th
annual meeting of the Nova Scotia Turkey Producers’ Marketing Board.

The board chairman said that as a result of an overall strengthening in returns, the industry is “starting to pay its own way.”

Producers can’t afford to rest on their laurels, however.

“As
producers, we must continue to work with our processor in a positive
trend by maintaining good grades on the product, by providing the
product in a timely fashion as required and by working collaboratively
with our processor to correct any situations that may jeopardize our
continued success,” he said.

The amount of product being
processed in the province has been steadily increasing, and it is still
the hope of the board to have all the turkey produced in Nova Scotia
processed here.

“We’re getting closer and closer to that point,”
Young said. “We’re now at 85 percent. That’s a marked improvement over
a number of years ago. We are moving in a positive direction, due to
the diligence of the processor.”

Once again, ACA Cooperative
needs to be commended for their part in the industry, Young reported.
“They have actively gone out and developed much-needed markets that
have resulted in more production staying within the province to be
processed. We need to commend them. They have invested in new
technology at the primary processing facility in New Minas, to help
increase quality and efficiency.

“These efforts need to be congratulated, and as a partner in the industry, we look forward to their continued success.”

Addressing
the recent announcement of the planned closure of the Maple Leaf Foods
chicken processing plant in Kings County, Young said the industry “is
yet again at the leading edge of a major challenge.”

He said
that while the imminent closure will create some turmoil within the
poultry industry in the region, “yet this situation could also provide
a tremendous opportunity for the industry to re-evaluate the future
direction that could be taken to carry the industry forward.”

Young
said the board of directors has had preliminary discussions on the
potential impact on the turkey industry and will continue to monitor
the situation as more information becomes available. “It may provide
opportunities for the industry as well. We are considering what the
impacts will be.”

Young reminded his fellow producers of the
growing concern about food safety and said the board will be holding
information sessions on the validation process of the OFFSAP program.
He encouraged all producers to become involved and receive their
certification.

“The emphasis on food safety is not going to go
away, so as producers we need to become informed and ultimately become
certified. The product that we produce is safe, has always been safe,
and will continue to be safe for the consumer,” he said.

Young
said that as such food safety programs unfold, the public is ultimately
going to have to bear the cost of their implementation and maintenance,
because the costs cannot continue to be borne by the producer.

The board needs to look at incentives to help entice producer involvement in this and other programs, the chairman said.

Turning
to another “very prominent issue,” bi-security, he said the
responsibility of “each and every one of us in the industry is to
maintain a strong bio-security protocol around our individual farms.”

Reporting
for the national industry, Brent Montgomery, chairman of the Canadian
Turkey Marketing Agency, said 2006 was “an exceptionally active year.
We produced and sold more than ever before.” And looking ahead, he said
the future “looks very bright.”

 
Chicken Farmers of Nova Scotia Annual Meeting

By Dan Woolley

The Nova Scotia broiler industry has hit a critical point according to the province’s Natural Products Council chairman.

Dave
Davies told the Chicken Farmers of Nova Scotia’s annual meeting as a
result of Maple Leaf Foods pending closing April 27 of its Canard
processing plant, "the chicken industry has been abandoned by a
national processor that is still claiming a share of the local market."

Davies claimed: "They won’t give up their market share, regardless of whether or not they have their Nova Scotia kgs.."

The
Canard closing has "fractured" the province’s chicken industry, he
commented, with 80-percent of the Maple Leaf producers indicating they
will now ship to Nadeau Poultry in St. Francois, New Brunswick, and the
remaining 20-percent shifting to the ACA facility in Wolfville, NS.

The
Nova Scotia broiler industry will now be under much more competitive
pressure from outside the province, said Davies, who also observed,
"lets not forget the families ( workers) who will lose their jobs at
Maple Leaf. They helped grow the industry."

He saw a public
responsibility "to grow the industry at home," noting the Nova Scotia
Women’s Institute’s recent survey indicating Nova Scotia consumers want
more local food products in stores and packaging to identify local
foods.

"I would strongly recommend to government food labeling
regulations to identify where it is grown and processed and the number
of kilometers it took to get to market," Davies said.

"Lets support our industry at home and we will be the envy of every province in Canada."

Sue
Payne, ACA’s CEO, said the Canard closure has left 50-percent of the
province’s chicken production "in limbo," with the loss of 384 jobs
causing "a devastating effect on the (Annapolis) Valley."

Although
the great majority of Nadeau producers chose to ship to Nadeau, Ms.
Payne believed the Canard closing provides an opportunity for the Nova
Scotia broiler industry which has discussed for some time now whether
there should be one or two processing plants in the province.

Since
the agreement with Nadeau is for just three years; she felt producers
should begin weighing their options on developing a new plant. "Don’t
leave it to Year Three to decide what the long term plan will be."

It will take, Ms. Payne estimated, at least two years and a considerable budget to build a new facility.

Some
Maple Leaf producers are concerned ACA will now have a monopoly
position as the Nova Scotia’s only poultry processor; but she reminded
them ACA is producer-owned with directors elected by producers,
observing, "I don’t think that is a concern."

Ms. Payne also
noted three years from now the Maple Leaf employees will have moved on
and the market will be developed "by our competitors."

Other
factors to consider over the next three years, she said, is Nova Scotia
is only looking at a one-percent increase in the national broiler
allocation, plus increased pressure from rising feed costs, while
chicken consumption has remained flat over the past few years.

If
rising production costs are passed on to the market, Ms. Payne
contended consumption will go down and the industry will be back in an
over-supply situation.

John Feenstra, a consultant with Nadeau,
said ACA could kill all the birds Maple Leaf producers had, but could
only market about 50-percent of them.

He expected about
50-percent of the Maple Leaf producers would ship to Nadeau, instead
80-percent of them signed on with the Northern New Brunswick processor.
This will require Nadeau to establish a second shift and ask for a
commitment from the Nova Scotia producers to ship their broilers for
the next three years to St. Francois.

It will not be possible for Nadeau, however, to process Nova Scotia chickens in the long term, Feenstra said.

He
hoped there will be a solution to bring the birds back to Nova Scotia
and he urged the Maple Leaf producers to act quickly. "Lets not wait
until Year Three to decide the future."

 
ILT Insurance Likely for Nova Scotia Chicken Farmers

By this fall, Nova Scotia chicken farmers will likely have insurance coverage for Infectious Laryngotracheitis (ILT).

George
MacIntosh, the Nova Scotia Crop and Livestock Commission‚s research and
development coordinator, told the Chicken Farmers of Nova Scotia annual
meeting "We are on the homestretch to getting an ILT product."

The
commission is now in the final stages "of smoothing out the fine
details" with the Department of Justice, following which, after a final
review the ILT insurance program will go to the provincial cabinet for
approval which MacIntosh expects would happen within two to three
months.

ILT insurance will be different from insurance for other
poultry, he said, in that it will be a lot like crop insurance which
provides insurance on crop yield.

It will be based on the
contract value and the number of kgs of chicken that are lost in an ILT
outbreak, said MacIntosh. "There is a deductible feature, if
100-percent of the flock has to be destroyed; you will get 90-percent
of the flock’s value."

 

New Strategic Plan for Chicken Farmers of Nova Scotia
By Dan Woolley

Chicken Farmers of Nova Scotia will execute its new strategic plan, pledged CFNS Chairman Ian Blenkarn.

Developing
a strategic plan and then acting upon it is quite an exercise for any
organization, observed Blenkarn. "Often it is done and put on a shelf."

He
considered it quite an accomplishment "to continually update and
measure yourself against your strategic plan….to have the discipline
not to let it gather dust."

The plan, completed last year,
outlines priorities to be done by CFNS for the industry and its
stakeholders. Among its objectives are creation of a mandatory
bio-security protocol, a Poultry Emergency Response Plan and various
promotional activities.

Alex Oderkirk, a poultry specialist with
the consulting firm, Agra Point International, at the CFNS annual
meeting, told producers they must pursue relationship building with
their stakeholders and act on crisis management to meet the plan‚s
objectives.

Oderkirk also said chicken farmers must not miss
opportunities to communicate their industry’s message to the public.
"You have to get your message out."

Following the annual
meeting, Shelley Acker, CFNS executive director, told Canadian Poultry
Magazine action has now been taken on communications with the drafting
of a series of 30 second and five minute messages for public
distribution.

Blenkarn noted the CFNS directors last year spread the strategic plan’s action items over three years for execution.

The
directors also met with producers in small groups before drafting the
strategic plan to identify those items producers wanted addressed.

Since
the plan’s inception, he said a number of those items have been acted
on . For example, the barn leasing regulation has been changed by
removing the requirement that a producer must own a barn after 12,
eight-week periods. The CFNS board has also a mandatory offset
regulation that is now under legal review before submission to the
provincial Natural Products Council.

These changes, noted
Blenkarn, as the CFNS board‚s response to the directives of the
strategic plan‚s mission and vision statements for CFNS to provide
"efficient and agile management of the industry."

The mission
statement mandates CFNS "to provide proactive leadership for a
sustainable and dynamic Nova Scotia chicken industry that provides an
environment for profitable growth for all stakeholders."

The
vision statement directs CFNS members to "produce safe, quality
chicken, be prosperous and become the most agile supply management
region in Canada."