Ont. egg farmers take names for new-entrant plan

Egg Farmers of Ontario will accept applications from would-be egg producers until the end of May to borrow quota from a new provincewide pool.

The group launched its New Entrant Quota Loan Pool program at its recent annual meeting in Toronto, with chair Carolynne Griffith describing the plan as “a great way to ensure constant renewal of our industry.”

Mississauga-based EFO has pledged 50,000 units of egg production quota to the program to be loaned to first-time producers over a 10-year period. After 10 years, a program participant would return his or her loaned quota to the program in five instalments of 20 per cent each.

Griffith, a table egg producer at Petrolia, southeast of Sarnia, noted in a release that the loan plan is a “permanent, long-term program designed to add new farmers to our ranks.”

Applicants to EFO’s quota loan pool must be permanent residents of Ontario and have either Canadian citizenship or landed immigrant status. They also must not now hold or have ever held quota in any of Canada’s supply-managed sectors, be it eggs, pullets, chickens, turkeys, hatching eggs or dairy.

A successful applicant will need to be able to buy quota based on a 1:2 ratio, meaning he or she will have to buy one unit of quota outright for every two units loaned through this program.

He or she must also be ready to start production within 18 months of being selected, EFO said.

An interested individual will have to complete and submit a form, business plan and non-refundable $100 application fee to EFO by May 31 at the latest. Priority will go to applicants between ages 18 and 45, EFO noted.

EFO has already set up a selection committee to review all eligible applications. Members named so far include former Egg Farmers of Canada chairman Laurent Souligny; Daryl Ball, information co-ordinator with the provincial ag ministry at Stratford; Robert Loree of accounting firm Ward and Uptigrove; and Craig Bremner, vice-president of ag services with TD Canada Trust.

Any applications not accepted in this first round will be void and applicants who don’t make the cut will need to re-apply to be considered in future years.

EFO’s board began exploring the possibility of such a program in late 2009, studying other such programs in other provinces and seeking input from its own members.

Interested producers are asked to contact EFO at 905-858-9790.

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