by SUSAN MANN
Once Pullet Growers of Canada gets its Part 2 status under the Farm Products Agencies Act the industry will be able to set prices and have a quota system.
Pullet Growers chair Andy DeWeerd says the organization submitted its formal request for Part 2 status to the Farm Products Council of Canada to enable farmers to get adequate returns. Pullets are one of the components of the poultry industry currently that isn’t under supply management.
“Right now we’re not getting adequate returns for our inputs and we’re falling behind,” he explains. “It’s also to give us a voice” within the industry.
Pullets are young chickens raised specifically to become egg layers. There are almost 550 pullet producers in Canada with 150 to 200 located in Ontario, the province with the most pullet producers.
Being an autonomous agency will give Pullet Growers the required legal power to make decisions on cost of production, disease control, housing standards and many other matters. Pullet Growers has consulted with pullet and egg producers across Canada as well as provincial supervisory agencies during the past two years it has been preparing its submission for the Farm Products Council. Pullet Growers has the support of Egg Farmers of Canada and provincially managed egg organizations.
DeWeerd says details about what check off fees farmers will have to pay and matters dealing with quota will be discussed once the council, federal agriculture minister and cabinet approve the Pullet Growers’ request.
In addition to the national organization, there will be provincial pullet grower organizations. So far, four provinces have organized provincial groups: Ontario, Manitoba, Quebec and Nova Scotia. BF