© COUNTRY LIFE IN BC 2017
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The agricultural news source in British Columbia since 1915
Shortened timeline on cage-
APRIL 2017 | VANCOUVER – Last year was significant for egg producers as it marked the start of the industry’s move out of conventional cage layer production systems.
It is the “beginning of a long process,” Egg Farmers of Canada chair Peter Clarke told local producers at the BC Egg Marketing Board annual meeting in Vancouver on March 3.
While Clarke suggested a 20-
It is still not clear what form “cage-
“We’re committed to promoting enriched housing as one of the options,” Clarke stated, with EFC CEO Tim Lambert adding EFC is launching a joint study with the World Wildlife Fund on the environmental impact of different housing systems.
Lambert said the WWF is concerned about how much valuable wildlife habitat could be lost to farming if egg production becomes 100% cage-
On a more positive note, both Clarke and Bond noted the industry is enjoying a period of unparalleled growth.
“At the end of the day, the Canadian egg industry is thriving,” Clarke stated. “It has been a decade of growth for all sectors of the business. We have seen 28.7% growth, adding 4.8 million hens since 2006.”
Bond noted BC received a 10.4% increase in quota allocations in the past two years, boosting BC egg production from just under 71.5 million dozen in 2015 to almost 80.5 million dozen in 2016. The outlook for 2017 is even higher as not all the increased quota has hit retail shelves.
“It takes about 18 months to get quota increases to the grocery shelf,” he pointed out.
Much of the increase is in specialty categories, in which BC leads the nation. However, Clarke claims there is still “not a lot of consumer uptake” for cage-
The BCEMB also used the annual meeting to announce its producer of the year. The program was initiated over a decade ago to recognize producers who scored well in the Start Clean Stay Clean food safety and Flock Care animal welfare programs. After just about every producer ended up qualifying for the award each year, the program was revamped last year to recognize only a single producer. Last year’s producer of the year, Jeff Bishop of Chilliwack, joined BCEMB vice-
Vol.103 Issue 4