March 6, 2019
by DAVID SCHMIDT
The fourth annual BC Poultry Conference enjoyed record attendance with just over 500 people registered for the event held in Vancouver, February 28-March 1.
The conference brings together representatives of the province’s four feather groups – chicken, eggs, hatching eggs and turkeys – for two days of annual meetings, motivational speakers and technical seminars.
The mood at the conference was largely upbeat. Both egg producers and chicken growers are enjoying unprecedented industry growth. Turkey growers, however, are facing production cutbacks as consumption of whole turkeys at Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas declines steadily.
All four sectors have individual issues but the detrimental impact of recent trade agreements is a common concern.
“Supply management has become a bargaining chip in trade negotiations,” Egg Farmers of Canada executive director Tim Lambert said, with Turkey Farmers of Canada executive director Phil Boyd adding this has been a problem regardless of which party is in power in Ottawa.
Lambert said the World Trade Organization, CUSMA and CP-TPP agreements will allow an additional 50 million dozen eggs to come into Canada tariff-free over the next 16 to 18 years. Chicken Farmers of Canada executive director Michael Laliberté said the agreements mean an additional 130 million kilograms of chicken imports over the same time period.
If chicken and egg consumption continues to increase, those two sectors may be able to withstand greater imports without cutting back domestic production. However, because turkey consumption has been declining, increased turkey imports will have a direct effect on Canadian growers.
“We will lose 6% of our farm production,” Boyd said.
All four groups pointed to trade negotiations with MERCOSUR, a trading bloc that includes Argentina, Brazil and three other South American countries as the next potential threat. Brazil is among the world’s largest exporters of poultry products.
Canadian Hatching Egg Producers chair Jack Greydanus called on all producers to be “in the face” of politicians to let them know the impact these agreements are having on their livelihood and to demand no further concessions in future trade deals.
Vol. 105 Issue 5
STORIES IN THIS EDITION
What on earth?
Opposition slams ALC bill
Sidebar: Protection & pushback
Editorial: Truth in labelling
Back Forty: So you don’t believe in climate change
Viewpoint: Don’t blame the cows for global warming
Ag council’s lobbying efforts produce results
Learning a new skill
Foundation’s nest egg for funding projects increases
Province will hold the line on piece rates
New CEO aims to kindle team spirit at co-op
FIRB decision prompts rethink of pricing scheme
Beekeepers see potential in technology transfer
AgSafe markes quarter century
Raspberries hit hard by harsh February
Blueberry growers anxious for new varieties
Biological controls for pests in demand
Sidebar: Pesticides in play
Growers urged to focus on fresh
Westgen celebrates 75 years of excellence
Top seller was no-show at Holstein sale
Spring show attracts exhibitors from Quebec
Cheesemakers unite to grow niche market
Range use permits under greater scrutiny
Sidebar: Range use plans go digital
Market Musings: Top bulls sell for top dollar at spring sales
Grapegrowers share sustainability objectives
Grape specialist honoured for dedication
Hazelnut production expands across BC
Sidebar: Pest pressures
Supporters take to AITC’s Sips & Sprouts
Research: Cultured meat fails to impress researchers
UAVs undergo testing for pesticide delivery
Sustainability goes beyond saving farmland
Father and daughter roll with the last of the steel wheels
Woodshed: Susan Henderson is warming to country life
Wannabe: Farming is more than just a job
Surplus, cull fruit finds new purpose as tasty snacks
Jude’s Kitchen: Special food for special moms