More mystery and silence in Ontario’s long-running egg case

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This week, I went to my store and bought a dozen eggs produced by a local farmer who does NOT have egg quota - it makes me feel good to thwart the evil of supply management - I really should have gone to law school, because this would be more fun arguing before a judge than posting it on a website populated by knuckle-draggers and yokels who don't seem to know their own names.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

perhaps if you did attend law school you would be able to present better agruments rather than just name calling.
looks like you have time on your hands to constantly post on this website

WHY DON"T YOU GO TO LAW SCHOOL.....and not just talk about it??

g kimble

BF should ponder the definitions of bullying as identified by name calling and belittling. Just because we know the name of the bully does not excuse the violation or definition of online name calling abuse.

Post this or not ... it is for you (BF) to see anyway. Most readers and other posters are tired of these sort of sanctioned rants accomidated and promoted by BF

With, or without, a name, prove me wrong - my local grocery store sells non-supply managed eggs, and there's absolutely no reason why every egg in every store in Canada can't come from non-supply managed farms. All this nonsense and legal wrangling in the egg industry is doing is demonstrating that supply management is making all these people way-too much money at the expense of Canadian consumers. While some readers on this site may be tired of what they see as bullying tactics by some posters, there's an entire generation of farmers who are more-than tired of being bullied by the agricultural status-quo which supports this sanctioned looting of consumers by select segments of agriculture - the proof for me is that for every nay-sayer on this site, I get, on average, about ten people who contact me privately to tell me I'm completely right, and if anything, I don't go far enough in my criticisms. Every farmer should be angry about the sloth, the complacency, and the unrealistic expectations, prevalent in every corner of primary agriculture - why not get rid of the problems instead of shooting the messengers?

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

I too am 100 % tired of some bitter people that has nothing more to do than sit and call names and belittle people , even if they do sign their name. Kids will be kids , but when it comes to what is ADULTS they should know better and if they don,t they should just pack their little laptop or PC away and go to their chair in the corner. Great thing about computers you can sit at home or where ever and bully people and you don,t think its the same thing as face to face , but its the same and its just as degrading or dangerous. So people its time to stand up to bullies and say its no different if you sign your name or you don,t.

I am fine with nameless comments that attack ideas, but not people. I am also fine with an acceptable/appropriate level of name calling, belittling, and creative wording as long as they are accompanied by names. Raube Beuerman, Dublin, ON

Bad ideas come from nameless people who deserve all the abuse and scorn anyone can heap on them. Bad ideas also come from people who have vested interests in what they promote, and they also deserve all the abuse and scorn anyone can heap on them. Farmers have been too-complacent for too-long about bad ideas, and far-more complacent about criticizing those who promote them. In addition, people who proffer half-truths, and/or who are "slippery with the truth", the stock-in-trade, for example, of supply management supporters for almost four decades, deserve to be ridiculed for trying to play fast-and-loose with things which shouldn't be "fast-and-loose" in the first place. It's like this, half-truths and the people who promote them, deserve to be ridiculed by whatever means available.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

I think its only proper in light of all the issues at Egg Farmers of Ontario, that GM, Harry Pelissero, resign, from his role as GM, or that EFO actually take a proactive leadership role at the board level and relief Mr.Pelissero from his duties. The part that really stinks about this whole situation, is that Mr.Pelissero, own brother is actually one of the directors on the board at EFO that needs to step up and do the right thing, by calling for Mr. Pelissero resignation in light of the situation.

Sean McGivern

Given that the needs of, or any consideration of, the consuming public have been ignored, and/or trampled by the un-mitigated greed of the supply management system itself, as is clearly demonstrated in this example, as well as by the amount of money the Chicken Farmers of Ontario just wasted on a jurisdictional dispute, plus the amount of money the Dairy Farmers of Ontario wasted trying to prevent the import of pizza topping mix which saves consumers oodles of money, why doesn't government admit the obvious, which is that supply management is nothing but a gang of bandits/bullies who take from consumers, and anyone else they can, and finally get rid of supply management for the good of the entire country? I'm definitely not the only person tired of supply management's tactics, and their belief that rules about ethical propriety, and respect for their customers, don't apply to them because they're farmers.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

The current market price for Supply Management quota is estimated at $15 Billion, for something that was originally granted by the government for free. How can that be? It can only be explained by recognizing the true value of what was gifted in the first place.

Secondly, according to my calculations, detailed on the Small Flocker's Blog, the chicken side of Supply Management is raping the Canadian consumer for the following:

$11 million/yr planned Pullet Supply Management premium
$143 million/yr Chicken feed premium pricing
$945 million/yr Bogus FCR in farm gate chicken pricing
$10,800 million/yr Premium price of Cdn. chicken over US price

Total $11.9 Billion per year taken out of Canadian's pocketbook every year.

When will these unfair advantages be stopped or controlled?

Glenn Black
Small Flock Poultry Farmers of Canada

I've seen the dollar value of quota stated as high as $35 billion (it's probably even higher when one considers the extra amount dairy farmers pay in hidden costs to buy quota at its capped value) yet the value of quota, by definition, is the only net-present value of the EXTRA amount of money supply managed farmers believe they can gouge from consumers - the actual amount, in accounting terms, will be substantially-more than whatever the dollar value of quota happens to be. In addition, you haven't made reference to the multiplier effect of job losses and reduction in consumer spending because of the $11.9 billion bled out of consumers every year, most of it going directly to the pockets of supply managed farmers, but an ever-increasing amount of which gets allocated to the legal costs, and other "drag" costs of defending an indefensible system. You also haven't mentioned the drag costs supply management places on other farmers who simply can't compete with the incomes and purchasing power available only to supply managed farmers. Finally, you haven't mentioned the multiplier effect of the losses in jobs at the retailing sector as a result of the ever-increasing number of consumers who've long since decided to simply go to the US to buy supply managed products. Supply management is a net-negative abomination, run by bullies for bullies, and is becoming more-so every day it is allowed to continue to exist.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Thanks for the feedback. I'd be interested in your source for the $35 Billion quota value.

For these crazy costs, it seems to me that the farmers are getting a few nickels and dimes, while others are raking in huge windfall profits by using the farmer's as pawns in their greedy chess game. To me, it seems the farmers have been swept along, know that all is not right, but everything they know and own is trapped inside the current Supply Management system, so they either go along and support it, or commit financial and lifestyle suicide. Who will willingly do that? SO the craziness continues, and gets worse every day, no end in sight.

I agree there is probably a spin-off effect, which most economists take as between $2 to $4 per dollar of cost, so if we use the $3 average spin-off effect, and your $35 Billion quota value, the total cost would estimate at a grand total of $95.7 Billion per year. Note that this is for chicken only, plus the overall Supply Management quota costs. If we add the crazy costs inside dairy, broiler, egg, and turkey into the mix, the number would explode past what anybody can understand.

The Federal deficit is $26 Billion/yr. The only province without a deficit is Saskatchewan. All the 2013 provincial deficits add up to $20.548 Billion, for a grand total deficit of $46.5 Billion. Note all of these 2013 government deficits is about half of the above Supply Management costs.

Therefore if your concerned about government deficits, you should be twice as concerned about the drag on the Canadian economy by Supply Management.

Does anyone in government really care about this poorly hidden, draconian, tyrannical tax on Canadian citizens?

Glenn Black
Small Flock Poultry Farmers

It may have been an article from the George Morris Centre, or the Conference Board of Canada, or Martha Hall-Findlay, but the methodology was to add all the units of quota currently existing, and that's readily available from the marketing boards themselves, and multiply it by the current per-unit market values of that quota. In any event, whether it's $15 billion, or $35 billion (and climbing, regardless of which figure is used as the base), it's a figure which represents the regressive, and repressive, nature of the beast called supply management. Government does care, but as long as the NDP, spineless wimps that they are, ignores their own constituency of poor consumers, and as long as the rest of us farmers, spineless wimps that we are, are willing to let supply management walk all over us, little will be done.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Martha Hall-Findlay states in June 2012 ( ):

"...quota is now worth about $28,000 per cow, meaning about $2 million per average farm, for a total quota value in Canada of about $28 billion. This represents double the value of quotas only 10 years ago."

These facts are based on Goldfarb (Goldfarb, D., "Making Milk: The Practices, Players, and Pressures Behind Dairy Supply Management", The Conference Board of Canada. November, 2009. Chapter 2, pp. 7-16.)

So if dairy is $28 Billion just by itself, I think it's safe to assume total cost of Supply Management quota could be around $140 Billion; so it appears we were all way low of the mark.

Canadian GDP for 2012 was $1,736 Billion. When (not if) that SM quota suddenly goes to zero value, the GDP of Canada will take a huge hit of -8.06%. Ouch!

No wonder governments keep feeding this monster, for they are afraid of being eaten alive.

Glenn Black
Small Flock Poultry Farmers of Canada

If quota goes to zero, GDP will increase because all that consumer spending will be diverted into things which have a positive multiplier, instead of a negative multiplier, as is the case with supply management. In addition, the GDP created by the resumption in exports, something denied by suppy management, will also far-outsurpass any temporary decline caused by the elimination of quota. Furthermore, my understanding is that if the value of dairy quota is $28 billion, the value of feather quota brings the total value of quota up to the $35 billion, rather than $140 billion, because the feather business is a lot smaller than the dairy industry. Regardless of how one looks at the picture, supply management truly is net-negative, and regressive economic and social policy.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

I believe the $28 billion figure cited as the aggregate value of dairy quota, was based on the capped price of $25,000 per kilogram. People who know about these things tell me that in a "lock-stock-and-barrel" sale, the only way more than fractional units of dairy quota can now be acquired, quota sells for an imputed price of somewhere between $35,000 and $40,000 per kilogram, thereby making dairy quota alone worth $35 billion, and possibly significantly more. It's interesting that the last time the rocket scientists in the dairy industry tried capping quota values in the late 70's, people like my neighbour sold his quota for the fixed amount, plus a load of real, or imagined, "fenceposts" to make up the difference. People, especially in agriculture, seem to never learn that caps are useless. In any event, this multi-billion dollar value affixed to quota is a clear indicator of how much dairy and poultry farmers are willing to pay for the privelege of gouging consumers and bullying other farmers, not to mention the aggregate value of the loss to the economy caused by this regressive food tax.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

I agree with all that you have said. We should note that there is a difference between "Net Worth" (ie. value of all your assets minus your debts) and GDP (ie. similar to wages & interest earned, monies spent on purchases & expenditures). While loss of SM quota on the books is a non-GDP transaction, it is the indirect effects that we need to be wary of. For example, many farmers and Farm Credit Canada use the supposed value of quota to borrow against as collateral. If quota suddenly goes to zero, there is no collateral for all those existing loans, and that puts FCC and many Canadian banks at significant risk. Also, farmers suddenly feel "poor", and therefore don't spend like they used to do, indirectly affecting the GDP.

Glenn Black
Small Flock Poultry Farmers of Canada

Nobody would care if the banks or FCC take a bath on quota - as far as most non-supply managed farmers are concerned, lenders would deserve it for being just as greedy as their customers. And if quota disappears, I suggest there would be an immediate increase in GDP because the sudden collapse in land and quota values would unleash a pent-up demand by younger farmers to get into all types of farming, including dairy and poultry, to meet the newly re-created export demand, plus the demand coming from domestic consumers who would buy more now that retail prices are lowered, as well as the demand coming from consumers who would now have no need to go to the US to buy dairy and poultry products. Because supply management is, by the first principles of economics, net-negative for jobs and economic activity, getting rid of it would, again by definition, produce an immediate upsurge in jobs and economic activity far surpassing any jobs and/or economic activity lost because of the end of supply management. The only jobs "lost" by ending supply management would be those who work(?) at the Canadian Dairy Commission, and the various supply management boards themselves, and since those jobs are, by definition, un-productive jobs anyway, who would really care to see them gone? - definitely NOT consumers who are currently paying for them (well, possibly not the CDC, but nobody can claim it serves any purpose except to prop up supply management)

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Don't forget Steve these young farmers will have to compete against very large operations already in place. I m not so sure very many small farmers could compete with the cost of production advantage these larger operations would have when it comes to export markets.

Any cost-of-production disadvantage faced by the younger generation is more than made up by their skills in other areas, specifically those related to knowledge, and their ability to use information technology to their advantage. Most of this generation is quite-willing, and quite-ready, to compete with those who have the advantage of size, as long as the size advantage isn't derived from legislated privelege, the way it is now with supply management. For example, 50 years ago, Wal-Mart was almost literally a mom-and-pop operation, and which grew because they simply did things better than the bigger guys - and there's no reason farmers can't do the same today, once the financial, and mental, constipation in primary agriculture caused by supply management is removed.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Those farmers that "suddenly feel poor" have been robbing the public from government and farmer set profits, therefore whatever they won't be spending would be spent by consumers if quota did not exist. In addition, since groceries are one of the few things that are not taxed, more taxes would also be generated if consumers were not forced to overpay on dairy and poultry products, because the money saved would be spent on something that is most likely taxable. Raube Beuerman, Dublin, ON

Government sat by in silence it seems as quota suddenly became part of farmers accepted balance sheets, or just maybe they have allowed it for a reason, I don t know. I sure as hell wish they would have allowed it when I farmed.

But I sign my name so I can say and bully anyone I want. What a bunch of BS , its bullying so grow up and become an adult. I wouldn,t sign my name in this letter for fear of someone or a few showing up on my door step .

What we have here is definitely a cartel, but not the mafia. Worst case scenario, you might get eggs thrown at you or your house come halloween. Raube Beuerman, Dublin, ON

If you know what you are talking about, and have something to say, nobody is going to take much, if any, issue with you. If, however, you are going to spout economic propaganda, anonymously, or otherwise, be prepared to be ridiculed. People who agree with me show up at my doorstep all the time - people who disagree with me don't. I believe in the adage that "evil prevails when good men do nothing", and if some people think that it's better to say, and do, nothing, rather than have a few malcontents and/or bleeding-hearts accuse you of bullying, then we need more bullying. We owe it to the next generation to root out the rot, the complacency, and the double-standards, of the present generation, and if the people defending the rot, the complacency, and the double-standards complain, who really cares?

Stephen Thompson, Clinton On

These same double standards you speak of are also very prevalent in regards to opposing subsidies while accepting them. Mabey signing your name and repeating yourself makes it acceptable.

There are three verities in life for people who express opinions publicly - death, taxes, and some anonymous sod trying to "shoot the messenger" because he/she is unable to deal with the truth of the message. I'm not opposed to all subsidies, just the ones which get capitalized into farm values, and the ones which create divisions in the farm community. I'm not (totally) opposed to crop insurance, I'm not opposed to Agri-Invest, and I'm not opposed to Agri-Stability, even though all of these programs are, by definition, subsidized. My main opposition to RMP is the cross-compliance rule between RMP and AgriStability rather than any other facet of the design of the program. If something is good for any of us in the short term, but bad for public policy in the long term, we still have the societal, and ethical, right to enjoy it, but we also have the societal and ethical obligation to never embrace it as a permanent entitlement, especially when it comes at the clear, and legislated, expense of others. That's the problem I have with both supply management and ethanol - their promoters have little, if any, sense of public, or ethical, responsibility, and it clearly shows.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

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