Business & Policy
Pushing for Pullet Growers
By Dan Woolley
Producers continue to work towards marketing board status
By Dan Woolley
The Pullet Growers of Canada (PGC) has been working hard to achieve marketing board status in order to give pullet growers a clear voice in the industry.
At its annual general meeting in March, Andy DeWeerd, chairman of the organization and a farmer in Perth County, Ont., told the Nova Scotia Egg Producers (NSEP) that the PGC have been working with pullet farmers and provincial egg marketing agencies to develop a business plan for the proposed marketing board.
DeWeerd said that the PGC has developed a draft federal-provincial agreement for the new marketing agency, as well as a separate operating agreement and quota formula, and used these drafts to consult with the provinces. Also, in July of last year, the pullet growers submitted a detailed proposal to the Farm Products Council of Canada for Part Two status in hopes of achieving a stable production check-off and an adequate return for pullet producers.
“Most provinces have contributed money to move the project forward,” said DeWeerd. However, he noted that Quebec pullet growers should have a new provincial pullet marketing board within the next few months on their own.
Public submissions on the proposed agency closed last February. Out of 81 submissions, 48 were positive, five were neutral and 28 were negative, so the proposal went forward. Additionally, the PGC proposal got a lot of support from the other poultry marketing boards.
If the farm products council recommends granting Part Two status to the Canadian pullet growers, DeWeerd said, the recommendation would then go to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada for approval. Following that, the final Federal-Provincial Agreement for a pullet growers national marketing board will be drafted.
John Griffin, the Atlantic provinces’ representative to the Farm Products Council of Canada, said a two-member panel from the council will soon review the application to decide on whether to hold hearings for the public. He added that any public hearings would likely be held in April or May, as the council hoped to make a recommendation to the agriculture minister by July.
DeWeerd added that the PGC is looking for an accepted cost of production formula for the pullet industry, as well as an improved pullet production cycle, management practices and agency status to ensure the cost of production is recovered in the price of pullets.
“It is important to control pullet production volumes, so pullet growers must separate from the egg producers who produce eggs for human consumption,” said DeWeerd.