Pullet growers make formal claim for agency status

A new national association has formally filed its paperwork to become a full-fledged agency representing Canada’s pullet growers.

The leaders of the Pullet Growers of Canada (PGC) on Tuesday made their formal submission to the Farm Products Council of Canada (FPCC) to seek "Part 2" agency status under the Farm Products Agencies Act.

"There hasn’t been a new commodity to come under supply management since 1986, so we had to make sure every detail was attended to," PGC chairman Andy DeWeerd, a pullet and broiler producer at Tavistock, Ont., about 30 km southwest of Kitchener, said in a release Thursday.

PGC’s leadership said it has spent the past two years consulting with pullet and egg producers and their provincial supervisory agencies to "ensure all their questions and concerns were addressed."

The group first announced its plans in March to seek Part 2 status, making a break from the egg sector agencies which today represent its members on pullet-related issues.

About 550 farmers in Canada raise pullets, the young chickens produced specifically to become egg layers. The PGC announced its plans in 2010 to make a break from the national egg sector agencies which now represent its members on pullet-related issues.

Many pullet growers are also in the egg business, but with an autonomous pullet agency, those growers would have "the required legal powers to make decisions on such issues as cost of production, disease control programs and housing standards, among many others," said DeWeerd.

"Pullets were one of the components of the poultry industry that was not under supply management," he said. "Now, we will have the industry voice and price parity shared by the rest of the poultry industries."

The PGC noted Thursday it will go forward with the support of the Egg Farmers of Canada as well as the producer-managed provincial egg organizations.

Related stories:
Pullet producers seek status outside the egg, March 7, 2011
Pullet growers draft application for split from eggs, Sept. 1, 2011

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