Pullet growers name chiefs for breakaway from eggs

A reorganized national pullet producers’ group has named its leadership as it plans to seek separate status in Canada’s supply management system.

Pullet Growers of Canada, formerly the National Pullet Growers Association, on Friday announced it has elected Ontario producer Andy DeWeerd as its chair, with Manitoba producer Cal Dirks as western director, Emmanuel Destrijker of Quebec as central director and, new to the executive, New Brunswick producer Marc Ouellet as eastern director.

The group in March said it will seek “Part 2 Agency” status under the federal Farm Products Agencies Act.

With “many” of Canada’s 550 pullet growers also in the egg business, pullet growers have been “closely connected” to the egg sector and have so far relied on representation through national and provincial-level egg producer organizations, the group has said.

“The time has come for pullet producers to have their own voice on issues such as cost of production, disease control, HACCP programs and housing standards, among others,” DeWeerd said in a release Friday. “Being an autonomous agency will give PGC the legal powers to make decisions on these issues, on behalf of pullet producers across Canada.”

The last successful application for “Part 2” status was by the Canadian Broiler Hatching Egg Marketing Agency in 1986, the PGC said.

PGC’s application to the Farm Products Council requires the group to meet with pullet producers across Canada, which it said it’s done so far in consultations “in every province from Manitoba east.”

Consultations and organizational meetings are booked in “all of the remaining provinces” over the next several weeks, PGC said Friday.

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