Business/Policy
Maple Leaf Foods recently announced the closing of its acquisition of two poultry plants and associated supply from Cericola Farms, a privately held company.

Located in Bradford, Ontario and Drummondville, Quebec, the two plants collectively process approximately 32 million kg of chicken annually.

Maple Leaf has also secured 100 per cent of the processed chicken volume from Cericola's primary processing plant located in Schomberg, Ont., and holds an option to acquire this asset and associated plant supply in three years.

Cericola specializes in air-chilled processing of antibiotic free and animal by-product free ("AABF") and organic poultry products.

This acquisition provides Maple Leaf Foods with additional supply and value-added processing capability to advance its leadership in higher value categories.

Maple Leaf Foods has transitioned most of its flagship Maple Leaf Prime chicken brand to Prime RWA, where the Canadian market is growing at approximately 25 per cent annually.
Published in Companies

Chicken farmers across Canada are rolling out the latest changes to the Raised by a Canadian Farmer Animal Care Program (ACP).

Published in Broilers

The International Egg Commission and its members support, and will promote, the responsible use of all antimicrobials to allow for the long-term safe production of eggs, safeguarding the availability of eggs and egg products for the world’s consumers.

Published in Farm Business

Undercover video. Two words that will send shivers up the spine of anyone who works in agriculture and food. There have been well over 200 undercover videos in the U.S. and 16 in Canada since 2012 targeting agriculture from farms through to processing. While it’s human nature to hope one never focuses on you, your company, suppliers or customers – it’s always better to be prepared.

Published in Welfare

As Costco is set to be the first U.S. retailer to integrate its meat supply to the farm level, a new report from CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division predicts that other food retailers and foodservice companies may be prompted to reevaluate their own supply chain integration opportunities.

Published in Company News

Turkey Farmers of Canada (TFC) is examining  the details of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), but is concerned turkey farmers and their families will be hurt by the terms of the agreement.

Published in News

With negotiations under the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) complete, and despite the fact Canada's chicken sector is giving up additional access, chicken farmers are relieved that over a year of uncertainty over the future of the agricultural landscape in Canada is over.

Published in News

Canadian egg farmers are concerned with the outcome of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which is now called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

Published in News

I had the privilege of visiting numerous barns this summer, and lugged my video equipment with me to document my travels. I met many passionate farmers doing innovative things. People like Ryan Kuntze, a Stratford, Ont.-based broiler producer and self-described peat moss guinea pig.

Published in Farm Business
The goal of Chicken Farmers of Canada's Young Farmers Program is to bring together young farmers from across the country to learn about how the Canadian chicken industry works, and to share their experiences and knowledge, as well as to identify new leaders in the industry.
Published in Farm Business
We know the ink has barely dried on this year’s Who’s Who edition – our previous issue where we profiled rising poultry stars from across the country. However, we’re already planning ahead for next year. And we once  again want your input.
Published in Farm Business
Amy and Patrick Kitchen moved from B.C. to Ontario several years ago intent on buying a farm. They knew from the start they wanted to get into market gardening. Eventually, they decided on a mixed offering. “We wanted to add livestock to the equation to diversify our income and for the manure benefits,” Patrick says.
Published in Broilers
For Aviagen, advancing industry research and training the next generation of industry professionals are core values, and the company continually seeks out opportunities to support these priorities.
Published in Company News
The World Egg Organisation (WEO) recently announced the global egg industry’s pledge to work in partnership with the United Nations, to fulfil its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The UN’s SDGs represent a shared vision to eradicate poverty and social inequality, and to tackle climate change by 2030. A social contract between the world’s leaders, the successful delivery of this ambitious blueprint is dependent on engagement and participation from international industry. The WEO has outlined key areas where it is delivering positive outcomes in line with the UN’s targets.

Of the UN’s 17 goals to transform our world, the WEO has identified six primary objectives where the egg industry is already making a significant impact through a range of dedicated sustainability initiatives. These specifically address the following goals:

  • Zero Hunger
Eggs are a sustainable, affordable source of the highest quality protein for everyone. Through its charitable work, the International Egg Foundation (IEF) is tackling food poverty experienced in developing countries, such as Swaziland and Uganda, through an ever-broadening range of community-based programmes.

  • Good Health and Wellbeing
Eggs fulfil numerous nutritional requirements and the industry is dedicated to educating the world about the positive benefits that this natural resource delivers as part of a balance diet.

  • Quality Education
Egg consumption supports brain development and concentration, particularly in young children. Additionally the IEF is responsible in its role as educational trustee for initiatives in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Swaziland, providing resources that enable communities to become successful egg producers.

  • Responsible Consumption and Production
Building trust and transparency in our food supply chains is essential. To help overcome the threat of Avian Influenza the industry has published its biosecurity recommendations. Secondly, the issue of animal welfare is driving the operations of all international egg industry producers and country associations. This is evident in the WEO’s role supporting the OIE in establishing a framework of Global Standards for Laying Hens.

  • Climate Action
The egg industry strives to continually reduce the resources it uses whilst ensuring the same output. Best commercial practice regarding sustainable intensification is regularly shared throughout the industry’s member organisations.

  • Partnerships for the Goals
Collectively managing the future of our planet and its inhabitants is vital to the success of the sustainability agenda. There is a need for international discourse, interaction and unified policy making. The WEO recognises the need to be proactive and accountable. To this end, the organisation continues to develop constructive relationships with the OIE, CGF and the major egg associations worldwide and its leading companies. This is supported by ongoing communication with the WHO, UN and WWF to address a range of sustainability issues.

This latest announcement marks the launch of the egg industry’s Global Initiative for Sustainable Eggs (GISE) which will support a range of ambitious sustainability objectives – helping to deliver the organisation’s vision of continuous improvement. These cover the following industry specific criteria:

1) Preventing the diseases of animals becoming the diseases of human kind
2) Improving nutrition
3) The elimination of forced labour
4) Environmental sustainability - the prevention of deforestation through the sustainable sourcing of soy
5) Working to ensure the responsible use of antimicrobials
6) Working to improve animal welfare

WEO Chairman, Tim Lambert, explains, “Kyoto is the perfect location for our sustainable development announcement. Many members of the international egg industry are gathered for our Global Leadership Conference and this ancient city has been the site of previous historic agreements, that seek to change our world for the better. The UN’s Agenda for Sustainable Development calls on us collectively, to initiate efforts to achieve the seventeen SDGs over the next twelve years. The global egg industry is absolutely committed to the cause."

"Society wants reassurance that companies are actively engaged with their customers and communities. Businesses have an inherent responsibility to do the right thing, for the right reasons. Through our own clearly defined goals, the egg industry is addressing the needs of people in both developed and developing countries - socially, economically and environmentally.”

GISE’s work co-exists alongside the framework of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. From social responsibility and environmental sustainability to nutrition and better operational practices – every aspect has a humanitarian focus and benefit.
Published in News
In light of the apparent progress in negotiations to renew the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), La Coop fédérée recently reiterated that the Canadian supply management system should not be used as a bargaining chip in these negotiations.

Agriculture is, in the same way as culture, an exception that contributes to the definition of Quebec and Canadian society. For La Coop fédérée, it is a question of identity, a choice to be made by society, as well as one of innovation.

"In the name of what should we accept the imposition of an American style of agriculture? We must preserve our agriculture, that is on a human scale, sustainable, and the fruit of the labour of families in Quebec and Canada over several generations," concluded Ghislain Gervais, president of La Coop fédérée.

"As I have already mentioned, in an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, it is also a question of respecting the values of Quebec and Canadian consumers who are asking for local products," said Ghislain Gervais, during a press conference. "We are concerned about the eventual impact of the abolition of the system we have chosen to ensure the survival of our regions, our family farms, the vitality of our rural life and our farming families who are living on the land."

There is no question of creating a new breach in the supply management system
Emphasizing that it is perfectly legitimate to protect the heritage, agricultural know-how and food security of the country's citizens, Ghislain Gervais indicated that the creation of a new breach in the supply management system would be extremely unfortunate.

The Transpacific Partnership, concluded in 2015, and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union, have already created gaps in the supply-managed sectors.

"We cannot envision that the Canadian government will accept to make further concessions under NAFTA. Such concessions would likely have a significant financial impact on dairy and poultry producers and contribute to the devitalization of our regions."
Published in News
Six months after inaugurating its new French animal health headquarters in the heart of the Lyon-Gerland Biodistrict, Boehringer Ingelheim has confirmed its allegiance to the region by announcing that it is about to invest a further €65 million in the metropolitan area.

The German group has laid the first stone of a 5,700 sq m building at its Lyon Porte-des-Alpes (LPA) site. Known as F2IVE (Formulation and Filling of Inactivated Vaccines Extension), this major project will comprise a three-storey building - including 1,000 sq m of clean room space – mainly for formulating and distributing avian vaccines.

“As poultry consumption continues to rise around the world, there is an increasing demand for avian vaccines. This meant that our LPA production site in Saint-Priest was going to reach a saturation point by 2020. We had to do some forward planning and find additional production capacity”, explains Erick Lelouche, president of Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health France.

The new building, which has an environmentally friendly design, will house two formulation lines, a multi-format bottle distribution line and a bag distribution area.

42 new jobs to be created at the new site.

Earthworks for the new high-tech building began in March 2018 with the first batches expected in spring 2020 for a range of avian vaccines destined for the world market, with the exception of the U.S.

Fifteen months after the acquisition of Merial (a Sanofi company) in January 2017, this new investment will lead to the creation of 42 new jobs, primarily consisting of qualified operations staff (flow and maintenance managers, production technicians).

“An investment such as this confirms the commitment made by Boehringer Ingelheim at the time of the acquisition to put France, and Lyon in particular, at the heart of its growth strategy in the animal health market”, Lelouche shares.

Over the past 22 years, more than €350 million have been invested in the LPA site. This new investment will eventually result in a threefold increase in the site’s inactivated vaccine production capacity.
Published in Companies
President Donald Trump said the U.S. is pursuing a new trade accord with Mexico to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement and called on Canada to join the deal soon or risk being left out.

Trump announced the agreement with Mexico in a hastily arranged Oval Office event Monday with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto joining by conference call. Pena Nieto said he is “quite hopeful” Canada would soon be incorporated in the revised agreement, while Trump said that remains to be seen but that he wanted those negotiations to begin quickly.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland is leaving a trip in Europe early to travel to Washington for Nafta talks on Tuesday, spokesman Adam Austen said on Monday. Canada and the U.S. are still at odds over some key issues.

The U.S. and Mexico agreed to increase regional automotive content to 75 per cent from the current 62.5 per cent in NAFTA, with 40 per cent to 45 per cent of production by workers earning at least $16 an hour, the U.S. Trade Representative’s office said in an emailed statement. They agreed to review the deal after six years, softening a demand by the U.S. for a clause to kill the pact after five years unless it’s renewed by all parties. Duty-free access for agricultural products will remain in place, USTR said. | For the full story, CLICK HERE
Published in News
Considering the average carbon footprint of chicken around the world, Canadian chicken has one of the lowest carbon footprint of all.

This is a key result coming from a recent Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) conducted by Groupe AGÉCO, a consultation firm specializing in corporate social responsibility and economic studies; the study was designed to measure the environmental and social performance of Canada's chicken sector, from hatching egg to processor.

The Environmental Footprint – Key findings
  • Since 1976, environmental performance significantly improved because of major productivity gains and significant improvements in feed conversion ratio.
  • Per kilogram of protein, the carbon footprint of Canadian chicken is lower than that of other livestock commodities produced in North America based on FAO's assessment of global livestock emissions.
  • In the last 40 years, the carbon footprint of the sector was reduced by 37 per cent.
  • Water consumption has been reduced by 45 per cent in the same timeframe.
  • 62% of the entire sector's total energy use comes from renewable sources, with chicken feed accounting for the bulk of renewable energy consumption.
The Social Performance
Canada's chicken farmers are committed to food safety & animal care: Canadian chicken farmers are certified on the mandatory Raised by a Canadian Farmer On-Farm Food Safety Program (OFFSP) and Animal Care Program (ACP), both of which are 3rd party audited.

After eliminating Category I antibiotics (the most important for human medicine) on the farm, Canada's farmers have committed to eliminating the preventive use of Category II antibiotics by the end of 2018 and a goal had been set to eliminate the preventive use of Category III antibiotics by the end of 2020.

Dedicated social license: Over 90 per cent of Canadian chicken farmers are engaged in their communities by providing free services to community members or by being engaged in municipal or regional organizations.

Competitive working conditions: Over 90 per cent of Canadian chicken farmers pay their workers a salary over the provincial minimum wage and about 70 per cent offer their employees benefits such as insurance and bonuses in addition to other benefits in kind.

A Pledge for Continual Improvement
For Canadian chicken farmers, sustainability means protecting animal health and welfare, ensuring worker and community wellbeing, preserving the health of the land and of Canadian farms and contributing to the Canadian economy by providing affordable food to Canadians.

Benoît Fontaine, Chair of Chicken Farmers of Canada affirms that, "Our sustainability journey is a process of continual improvement. We have come a long way with the implementation of on-farm programs, and with the growth in our industry which has contributed to the Canadian economy and helps support rural communities. But we'll always have more work to do and we will continually evolve to improve our practices and deliver on the expectations of Canadian consumers."

Background
An LCA is an internationally recognized approach to assess the impacts associated with all of the stages of a product's life – in this case chicken. There is a well-established protocol for LCA subject to an ISO standardized methodology. LCAs can help an industry determine which aspects of their production are most efficient, and where they can improve efficiencies, reduce environmental impacts, or improve social interactions along their entire value chains.

The LCA provides the chicken industry with benchmarks for its impact on climate change, natural resources, biodiversity and ecosystem quality, and human health, while the social LCA provides a qualitative assessment of the industry's socioeconomic performance.

Conducting an LCA is part of our strategy to support our industry's work in maintaining consumer and buyer confidence that supply chain risks are adequately addressed. It can also improve industry's social licence and assurance to consumers that chicken is safe, and produced in an efficient and responsible way.

People care deeply about their food, about knowing where it comes from and that what they are serving to their family and friends is of the highest quality; our farmers and their families are no different. So when we say that the Canadian chicken industry is good for Canadians, it's because we know that we're raising our chickens to the highest standards: yours.

To find out more about our LCA results, check out this new infographic: https://www.chickenfarmers.ca/resources/sustainability-assessment-of-the-canadian-chicken-value-chain/

Published in Broilers
Maple Leaf Foods recently announced it is investing approximately $28 million to transition its Edmonton poultry processing facility to world-class controlled atmosphere stunning (CAS) technology, reflecting its commitment to building on its leadership in animal care, the poultry sector and value-added branded fresh chicken.

Maple Leaf will convert its transportation, lairage and receiving area and handling systems to optimize rest-time and create a climate-controlled environment as it implements this technology.

The new lairage system will enhance lighting, air quality and temperature control, allowing chickens to rest comfortably and significantly reducing stress.

The CAS technology selected is a very humane system that will ensure birds are fully insensible prior to processing. The conversion will result in a 26,000-square foot expansion at the Edmonton facility, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2019.

"We are on a journey to become the most sustainable protein company on earth and being a leader in animal care is a cornerstone of this vision," said Michael McCain, president and CEO, Maple Leaf Foods. "We are deploying world-class technologies and best practices that support our goal to eliminate stress and pain and provide humane treatment of animals in our care, while enhancing employee health and safety and food quality. With Canada's leading poultry brands, we are advancing many dimensions of sustainability, from eliminating antibiotics, to best practices in animal care and dramatic reductions in our environmental footprint."

"CAS provides many advantages to animal welfare, ensuring chickens are fully unconscious and humanely euthanized, while greatly reducing stress," according to Dr. Greg Douglas, vice-president, animal care. "This technology, which we have also installed at our pork processing facility in Manitoba, is acknowledged as a best practice around the world," Douglas added.

Maple Leaf Foods is also installing Remote Video Auditing at this facility, a powerful training and auditing tool that supports rigorous monitoring and compliance to best practices of animal care.

This will be the ninth implementation as part of Maple Leaf's commitment to incorporate Remote Video Auditing across its network.

Poultry is the most consumed protein in Canada and Maple Leaf Foods has the leading national brands and market position in value-added poultry, which continues to experience significant growth.

To support its leadership, Maple Leaf has added a second shift at this facility to keep pace with demand and recently invested approximately $16 million to expand capacity at its hatchery operations in Wetaskiwin, Alberta.

Maple Leaf has additionally reached an agreement to acquire two poultry processing facilities and related supply, with significant value-added capabilities, from Cericola Farms.
Published in Company News
Perdue Farms Inc., one of the world’s biggest producers of organic chicken, wants to bring the premium meat to the masses.

The Salisbury, Maryland-based company will convert its Simply Smart prepared chicken brand to organic later this year, chief marketing officer Eric Christianson said in an interview.

The line, which includes frozen products such as nuggets, tenders and breasts, will be sold at about half the price of comparable organic products at retail, which often go for about $15 a pound, he said. | READ MORE
Published in News
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