Canada
As the new poultry industry development specialist at Manitoba Agriculture, Amy Johnston came to her position with both strong first-hand livestock experience and an in-depth knowledge of production through the eyes of a nutritionist.
Published in Producers
Across Canada, breakfast sandwich sales are exploding. And Canadians’ love for eggs is booming right along with it.

More and more restaurant chains across the country are offering all-day breakfast menu items, and Canadians are getting inspired in the kitchen with their own creations. And the results are amazing.

After implementing all-day breakfast, the sale of egg meals at McDonald’s rose 25 per cent in the first year...that’s over 35 million more eggs!

Breakfast sandwiches are one part of an incredible trend—more and more Canadians are eating and enjoying the nutritional benefits of eggs. We’ve seen consistent sales growth in eggs over the past 11 years. In fact, in 2017 alone, egg sales increased by 4.1 per cent across the country. | READ MORE
Published in Emerging Trends
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
There’s no better way to learn than getting your hands dirty… something Alberta turkey and broiler producers, Marc and Hinke Therrien know all too well. Being adaptable and learning on the job has played a major role in the young couple’s success.
Published in Producers
The Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) for Canada and OIE Delegate for Canada, Dr. Jaspinder Komal, welcomes the evaluation of Canada's veterinary services that was published recently by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the global standard-setting body for animal health and welfare.

The OIE has found Canada to be a top performing country and a leading example for meeting international veterinary service standards, with no major weaknesses. The full CVO's statement is available in its entirety on the CFIA's website.

The evaluation, conducted at Canada's request, was coordinated by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and involved federal, provincial and territorial governments and representatives from the private veterinary sector, academia and veterinary regulators. The full Performance of Veterinary Services (PVS) Evaluation Report is available on the OIE's website.

The CFIA will be working with federal, provincial and territorial partners as well as representatives from the veterinary sector and the animal industry to further strengthen veterinary services across the country.

The CFIA continues to lead on other initiatives to improve animal health, veterinary public health and animal welfare in Canada.

"With the majority of Canada's veterinary services getting the top five out of five rating based on the OIE's international standards, and with the implementation of the OIE's recommendations, Canada will further strengthen its position as a global leader in promoting the health of animals and protecting the public from animal disease. This will also help strengthen international trade and economic opportunities," says, Jaspinder Komal, Chief Veterinary Officer and OIE Delegate for Canada.
Published in Welfare
After decades as a highly respected researcher, teacher and mentor, monogastric nutritionist Derrick Anderson has developed an eye for talent. He sees something special in Dalhousie University researcher Stephanie Collins. “I think she’s one of the rising stars in Canadian poultry,” he says of the young scientist. “She’s the next generation of nutritionist.”
Published in Producers
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
The son and nephew of Quebec’s first organic egg producers, David Lefebvre had plenty of unique experiences growing up. One of his fondest memories is gathering eggs with his family on weekends. It was no easy task.
Published in Producers
Born and raised on Sunrise Colony, Michael Hofer grew up in the crop fields outside of Etzikom, a small hamlet in the southeast corner of Alberta. Many of his early days were spent picking rocks, seeding, spraying, harvesting and learning the ins and outs of farming alongside his father. And while the colony’s farming operations provided no shortage of work for a young boy, they also provided many opportunities.
Published in Producers
Raising broilers is much like building a house. A good deal of effort goes into planning and constructing the structure, but one also needs to be a bit of an artist to create the ideal end result. Experienced and knowledgeable growers are similar in that they follow recommended procedures while also being proactive in identifying issues before they can cause a problem.
Published in Broilers
High stocking densities significantly impact the health, welfare and performance of tom turkeys. That’s according to newly completed research by Dr. Karen Schwean-Lardner and master’s student Kailyn Beaulac at the University of Saskatchewan’s department of animal and poultry science.
Published in Turkeys
It’s that time of year again where we celebrate industry leaders from across the country. Indeed, our annual Who’s Who issue is back. This time we’ve added a few new twists. For one, we gave the issue a theme. Our first premise is “Rising Poultry Stars” and each year after we’ll be giving the issue a different focus.
Published in Farm Business
Projects focused on livestock transportation emergencies, building a hazelnut industry in Ontario, and boosting innovation in floral greenhouses were in the spotlight at the Agricultural Adaptation Council’s (AAC) summer networking event in Hamilton in late-June.

The Council also provided an update on its funding programs and activities and announced a new joint funding initiative.

This past March, AAC wrapped up its successful delivery of Growing Forward 2 (GF2) to Ontario organizations and collaborations. Close to 400 projects received funding of $33.9 million through this program over the last five years.

AAC is now responsible for delivering the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to Ontario organizations and collaborations. This federal-provincial-territorial initiative supports projects in three priority areas: Economic development, environmental stewardship, and protection and assurance.

Research and innovation are the key focus across the Partnership’s 19 project categories. Funding is available for a range of activities including applied research, pilots, assessments, planning, and market development.

“We want to encourage applications from Ontario organizations and collaborations across the sector to demonstrate that the need for the program is strong,” said AAC chair Kelly Duffy in her remarks.

AAC also delivers two programs targeted at the Ontario greenhouse sector: the $1 million Greenhouse Renewable Energy Technologies (GRET) initiative for the Ministry of Environment and the $19 million Greenhouse Competitiveness and Innovation Initiative (GCII) for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

How to better deal with livestock transportation emergencies, particularly truck rollovers, was behind a GF2 project Farm & Food Care Ontario (FFCO) completed in partnership with Beef Farmers of Ontario.

A needs assessment of stakeholders from farmers and transporters to government, first responders and animal organizations resulted in one-on-one training for first responders in how to specifically address livestock transport emergencies. An emergency response manual for producers was also created.

“The need to train emergency responders is huge and we appreciate the GF2 funding that helped us complete this project – this was a first step in helping address the issue of livestock transportation emergencies,” said FFCO Program Manager Bruce Kelly.
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The evening wrapped up with an announcement of AAC’s joint initiative with Ontario Genomics. The Regional Priorities Partnership (RP3) Program, in partnership with Genome Canada, aims to promote the adoption of genomics-based technologies, tools and services within the Ontario agriculture and agri-food sector.

RP3 program materials will be available this September with applications due January 2019.

“I remain enthusiastic and optimistic about the Council’s future,” Duffy said in her closing remarks. “Opportunities for innovation are greater than ever and AAC can play an important role in assisting the industry as it moves forward.”
Published in Welfare
Canada's agriculture and agri-food system contributes $110 billion to Canada's economy, with more than $64.6 billion in exports. Agriculture risk management is important to the sector – it helps stabilize farmers' incomes, strengthens farm businesses, and encourages growth in the agricultural sector. Under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, governments continue to support the development of new risk management tools that reflect the changing nature of the business.

Building on the successes of Growing Forward 2, the AgriRisk Initiatives Program has been renewed under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAulay today announced that the $55 million program will encourage partnerships between agriculture industry stakeholders, researchers, and federal, provincial and territorial governments to proactively explore and develop new risk management products and services for the agricultural sector.

Funding is available under two components: Research and Development and Administrative Capacity Building. In response to recommendations received from the BRM Review Expert Panel, priority will be given to proposals for industry-led projects to develop new and innovative business risk management tools.

"Canada's hard-working farmers constantly face volatility and unpredictability in their business. Our Government is launching this renewed AgriRisk program to help protect our hardworking farmers from the risks they face so they can continue to grow the economy and create good, well-paying jobs. This announcement responds to what we heard from the external advisory panel on business risk management," said MacAulay.
Published in News
Jamesway Incubation Company Inc., incubation and hatchery equipment manufacturer, announced that Denis Kan, CPA, CMA, will assume the role of president replacing former president Christopher Omiecinski.

In his former positions as Jamesway C.O.O. and director of finance, Kan has led the company through many new processes and has used his formidable organizational skills to propel the company to new achievements. As president, Kan can be expected to continue this forward surge as Jamesway continues to acquire market share in the hatchery sector.

Denis brings a strong set of technical and analytical skills in financial management, reporting, and organization and planning coupled with key knowledge in operational monitoring, analysis and control and strong business acumen in strategic analysis and planning and tactical business and process alignment.

He has experience directly in field sales and national accounts as well as a history of partnering with sales to work with strategic customers. Jamesway welcomes the senior management change and looks forward to continued growth with Kan at the helm.
Published in Company News
A Greener World (AGW) the independent, nonprofit certifier and home of North America's farm certifications--Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW, Certified Grassfed by AGW and Certified Non-GMO by AGW--is recognized as an industry leader in a recent higher animal welfare comparison chart released by Compassion In World Farming, a global farm animal welfare nonprofit.

Compassion In World Farming (CIWF) compared 34 initiatives across 10 countries to assess which certifications meet CIWF's higher animal welfare criteria. CIWF analyzed each certification program on 15 metrics and animal welfare criteria--including access to pasture, spacing requirements for housing, animal breeds, ability for animals to exhibit natural behaviors, health and animal welfare monitoring programs, and more. The Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW label was the only program that met all of CIWF's higher animal welfare criteria--including recommendations and requirements--for laying hens.

Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW is the only food label in North America that ensures high-welfare on pasture from birth through slaughter for all species certified.

The label is free to farmers, ensuring certification is impartial, independent and accessible to all farms. Along with AGW's ISO/IEC Guide 17065 accreditation demonstrating excellence in auditing and certifying, AGW offers integrity and transparency in a market dominated by unverified claims. Demand for verified sustainability is growing globally: Currently available in the U.S. and Canada, AGW's certifications will soon launch in the UK and South Africa, with other countries following.

AGW executive director Andrew Gunther says, "We're honored to be recognized by Compassion in World Farming as an international leader in the field. While there is an ongoing industrial effort to rebrand conventional practices as high-welfare or sustainable, it's vital that organizations like CIWF evaluate labels from an objective, science-based perspective, and report back on which ones are really doing what they say. We're proud to lead the pack on that front--and with our certified farmers, demonstrate our commitment to transparency and verified, high-welfare, farming practices.

There are a lot of misleading labels out there, but there are also some very good ones. CIWF's charts help consumers, buyers, advocates and policymakers distinguish between meaningful labels--like those from A Greener World and our high-scoring peers--and meaningless greenwashing. If we're ever to achieve truly sustainable agriculture, we have to ensure the label on the package matches the practices on the farm. We're proud to be a label that delivers on its promise, and thank CIWF for keeping the market honest."

For more information about AGW's nonprofit work, including farm certification, educational resources, membership and volunteer opportunities, technical papers and a directory of certified products, visit agreenerworld.org.
Published in News
Colleagues, friends and dignitaries recently gathered in Guelph at Alltech’s Canadian headquarters to celebrate the global animal nutrition company’s 30th anniversary operating in Canada.

Founded in 1988 by Dr. Pearse Lyons, Alltech Canada has offices and representatives strategically located across the country. In 2016, Alltech acquired Masterfeeds and added a strong network of farm-focused dealers to accommodate and service farmers and ranchers nationwide.

“Canada is one of the largest agricultural producers and exporters in the world,” said Stuart McGregor, general manager of Alltech Canada. “We are proud to celebrate 30 years in Canada and look forward to many more supporting our farm and ranch customers across the country.”

Coinciding with the Alltech Canada 30th anniversary celebration, the World Trade Center Kentucky and Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles visited the Guelph area on an agriculture and agribusiness-focused trade mission. Canada is Kentucky’s top agriculture and agri-food export market, and in 2016, Kentucky’s agriculture and related industries exported US$230 million to Canada.

“Kentucky agriculture needs international trade, but more importantly, the rest of the world needs Kentucky agriculture,” Quarles says. “The goal of this agriculture-focused trade mission is to generate export opportunities by connecting our farm community to new international markets.”

While in Canada, the trade mission delegates visited a grain farm, toured the University of Guelph Livestock Research and Innovation Centre, participated in roundtable discussions and attended an Agriculture and Agribusiness Symposium, business-to-business meetings and business networking receptions. The mission was sponsored by Kentucky Farm Bureau, Masterfeeds/Alltech, the Kentucky Distillers’ Association and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association.
Published in News
Vast amounts of data are being collected on Canada’s farms through the advent of precision agriculture technology and the Internet of Things (IOT).

Many types of tools, equipment and devices gather data on everything from crop yields to how many steps an animal takes in a day. However, much of that data is underutilized because it’s collected by systems that don’t or can’t communicate with each other.

The need for better decision-making on farms through better data use resulted in Ontario Precision Agri-Food (OPAF), a partnership of agricultural organizations led by Ontario Agri-Food Technologies (OAFT) that’s developing an open agri-food innovation platform to connect and share data.

The goal, according to lead director Dr. Karen Hand of Precision Strategic Solutions, is getting data, wherever it exists (both data repositories in industry or government and data generated by countless sensors) so it can be used to help advance important food production issues like food safety, traceability and plant and animal disease surveillance.

For example, information about the prevalence and control of insect pests like cutworms that damage soybean crops lies with many different people and organizations, including university and government researchers, crop advisors, input suppliers and farmers.

“There is no single spot where all of the information about a particular pest can be accessed in a robust, science-based system and used in decision-making and that’s where OPAF’s platform will help,” Hand says.

Pilot projects are underway with Ontario’s grain, dairy and poultry producers to identify their needs in areas like crop protection, sustainability and food safety and how OPAF can provide data-driven solutions to benefit farmers.

“We sit down with farmers, advisors, associations, government and researchers to find out what data they have, where they exist and if we were able to connect them, what value or benefit that would offer participants – either specific to the commodity they are producing or on larger food-related issues such as food safety or impact on trade,” she explains.

And OPAF’s efforts are gaining global recognition. Earlier this year, Internet of Food and Farm 2020, a large project in the European Union exploring the potential of IOT technologies of European food and farming, recognized OPAF as one of three global projects to collaborate with.

“This is going to be changing the face of data enablement in Canada and contributing globally,” says Tyler Whale of Ontario Agri-Food Technologies (OAFT). “We are creating a platform that is the base of something new, and although we are piloting this in Ontario, it will be available nationwide to those who want to use it.”

OPAF partners include OAFT, University of Guelph, University of Waterloo, Niagara College, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, Livestock Research Innovation Corporation, Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, Grain Farmers of Ontario, Ontario Federation of Agriculture, Farm Credit Canada, Ontario Agri-Business Association, Bioindustrial Innovation Canada, and Golden Horseshoe Farm and Food Alliance.

This project was funded by Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The Agricultural Adaptation Council assists with GF2 delivery in Ontario.
Published in New Technology
Agricultural equipment dealers are working with Saskatchewan high schools to find a new generation of employees.

Many of the 125 farm dealerships in the province have at least a couple openings for agricultural equipment technicians.

"Where dealers use to get people walking in the door looking for jobs, now they are having to go search for them," says Larry Hertz, vice-president, Canada for the Western Equipment Dealers Association.

The association anticipates additional openings in the future as current employees begin to retire. | For the full story, CLICK HERE
Published in News
Consumers pressure restaurants and food companies to make the practice mandatory, but who will pay the extra costs?

A steady stream of restaurant and food companies proclaim intentions to use eggs only from free-run operations in the future, but egg producers wonder who is willing to pay the cost of more expensive production methods.

Some barns have already moved to systems with enriched housing, defined as larger cages with nesting areas, dust baths and room for each chicken to spread its wings and generally express normal behaviour. | For the full story, CLICK HERE
Published in Layers
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