Sustainability

Feeding young broiler breeders around the world generally involves restriction starting when the chicks are one week or a few weeks of age. This is done so that they grow at a rate that supports their health and welfare – one that prevents obesity, lameness and reproductive problems.

Published in Bird Management

Last year, Canadian Poultry outlined how some North American retailers were starting to source slow-growth broiler meat due to pressure over welfare concerns with conventionally grown chickens. Now, we look at economic, environmental and animal welfare factors attached to slow-growth broilers and also at Europe’s experience.

Published in Broilers

Whole bird turkey sales in Canada have declined quite a bit over the last few years, especially during the last two. Still, the turkey sector in Canada and in the U.S. continues to find success building consumption of other products.

Published in Emerging Trends

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

Bill Van Heyst grew up on a mixed farm near Grand Bend, Ont. He remembers looking after 500 laying hens – that was the maximum amount allowed under quota at the time. He also remembers switching over the old tunnel ventilated 1960s vintage poultry barn to battery cages from free-range. If he’d only known then that free-range would be fashionable once again…

Published in Barn Management

Growing interest in the concept and practice of sustainable sourcing is redefining relationships and expectations in the agri-food landscape. Sustainable sourcing, simply put, refers to procurement of goods or services subject to their meeting a specified set of socio-economic, animal welfare and environmental sustainability criteria.

Published in Farm Business

Summer has come and gone and fall is now here. It’s once again time to take a look at your maintenance program and go over the equipment to ensure everything is running efficiently.

Published in Barn Management

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
As has been done periodically since it was created decades ago, the Canada Food Guide is being updated again, this time as part of a new Healthy Eating Strategy launched by Health Canada in the fall of 2016. Chicken Farmers of Canada (CFC) and some other groups and individuals have concerns over proposed updates to the guide that relate to a focus on plant-based proteins.
Published in Emerging Trends
Ceiling insulation and enclosed houses with multiple insulation methods are crucial to the efficient operation of a poultry house.
Published in Barn Management
Backed by the stability and predictability offered by supply management, a green shift is happening across rural Canada. One such farmer at the cutting edge of this new wave is Manitoba’s Abe Loewen. He recently invested in solar panels to heat and cool the family home, alongside his entire barn – home to 12,600 hens.
Published in Producers
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
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
Sometimes trends are not worth the hype. I’m sure we all have at least one picture lying around with an outfit we thought was classic but is now horribly outdated. In today’s age of ever-evolving food trends, from cronuts to charcoal ice cream, it can be hard to know what trends are fleeting and which ones will stand the test of time.
Published in Consumer
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
The poultry industry is harnessing the skills of University of Guelph computer scientists and their artificial intelligence expertise to get a better idea of when and where avian influenza might next emerge.
Published in New Technology
Feedback from across Alberta’s livestock industry is helping to build a clear and comprehensive understanding of livestock welfare in the province, as part of the Livestock Welfare Engagement Project facilitated by Alberta Farm Animal Care (AFAC).

An important online survey component of the project launched over the summer is already seeing strong participation across the industry.

Those who haven’t yet participated in the survey are encouraged to do so as soon as possible, ahead of the Oct. 31 deadline. (Click here to complete the survey).

“Broad industry feedback is critical to accurately represent the extensive work being done related to livestock care in Alberta today, and to help shape future priorities and direction around this increasingly high-profile component of livestock production,” says Annemarie Pedersen, executive director, AFAC.

Next Phase
“We have been very encouraged by the strong initial participation in the survey, which is open to anyone involved in animal agriculture in Alberta,” says Dr. Melissa Moggy, Livestock Welfare Engagement Project Lead.

With the initial consultation completed and the survey underway, planning for the focus groups is in full swing. “Our first of five focus groups will be at Grande Prairie Regional College, Fairview Campus, on Sept 20th and we hope anyone involved in the industry will join us for an in-depth discussion of livestock welfare in Alberta,” says Moggy. The results will be a critical part of the final report to be shared with government in early 2019.

Locations and details for these additional focus groups can be found below. Focus groups will be arranged by invitation, based on survey responses. However, those who are interested in participating in their area can register.

Grande Prairie Regional College – Fairview, Alta. - Sept. 20 
Lethbridge College – Lethbridge, Alta. - Sept. 25
Olds College – Olds, Alta. - Oct. 2 
University of Alberta – Edmonton, Alta. - Oct. 10
Lakeland College – Vermillion, Alta. - TBA

“We encourage all livestock sectors and industry partners to participate in the upcoming groups. We have planned them to be accessible to the majority of the province and hope to meet with a diverse cross section of our industry,” says Moggy.

Information on the focus groups can be found at www.afac.ab.ca or contact Melissa Moggy at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  or 403-652-5111 to register.

About the Livestock Welfare Engagement Project
The project was requested and is being funded by Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. The insights and information collected through this project will be presented in a final report, which will be shared with the Government of Alberta to support its understanding of the animal welfare landscape in the province from the livestock industry’s perspective.
Published in Welfare
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
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