Pullet producers seek status outside the egg

A national group of pullet growers wants to reposition itself within Canada’s supply management system, separate from the egg groups that have represented them so far.

The group, formerly known as the National Pullet Growers Association and now rebranded as Pullet Growers of Canada (PGC), said Monday it will seek “Part 2 Agency” status under the federal Farm Products Agencies Act.

“Repositioning PGC within the supply management system as a Part 2 Agency will give Canadian pullet growers the legal voice to address the many issues affecting the pullet industry,” PGC chairman Andy DeWeerd said in a release.

With “many” 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 said.

“However, egg organizations are mandated to represent only their egg producers and not the pullet growers.”

“As an industry, we cannot rely on the good graces of the egg organizations to represent us,” said DeWeerd, a pullet and broiler producer at Tavistock, Ont., about 30 km southwest of Kitchener.

“The time has come for pullet growers to have their own voice on such issues as cost of production, disease control, HACCP programs and housing standards, among many others,” he said.

The pullet growers’ on-farm HACCP program was put in place last year as part of Egg Farmers of Canada’s Start Clean-Stay Clean program.

Acting as an “autonomous agency,” DeWeerd said, “will give PGC the required legal powers to make decisions on these issues, on behalf of pullet producers across the country.”

As part of the process of becoming a Part 2 Agency, PGC said it plans to hold consultations across the country with pullet producers as well as egg organizations.

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