Saturday, March 8, 2014

Small Flockers file their appeal

Glenn Black of Small Flock Poultry Farmers of Canada has filed a 272-page appeal with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food Appeal Tribunal.

The draft document is a broad attack on the entire supply-management system as practiced by the Chicken Farmers of Ontario marketing board and Chicken Farmers of Canada national agency.

He has included reams of postings on a blog he writes – – that vilify the marketing boards as the Chicken Mafia.

Black and the organization seek an increase from 300 to 2,000 birds per year that people can raise without owning marketing-board quota.

Black calculates that 23,560 small-flock owners are now producing 0.52 per cent of the chickens in the province.

He proposes a cap of 10 per cent of Ontario production for small flock owners if and when the tribunal agrees and increases the quota exemption to 2,000 birds per year.

He also proposes that nobody be allowed to produce both quota-controlled and quota-exempt birds.

If small flock producers gained 10 per cent market share, he calculates there would be more than 430,000 of them in Ontario. 

There now are about 23,560 small flock owners and there are 1,026 quota-holding producers.

Black also calculates that if there were no supply management for chicken and no tariffs on chicken, the price would fall enough to change Canada into a major competitor in global export markets.

“If Canada was to gain just 50 per cent OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) market share, Canada would have to produce five times more chicken than what we do today.

“It is estimated that Ontario’s share of that would be $10.8 Billion per year of additional economic activity,” writes Black.

He is a retired professional living at Providence Bay on Manitoulin Island.