Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Chicken industry responds to LaPlante issue

The Association of Ontario Chicken Processors and the chicken marketing board have lined up an answer to Robert LaPlante’s longstanding pursuit of chicken supplies for hgis Eastern Ontario processing plant.

LaPlante had filed a number of appeals with the tribunal and had pursued every option he could identify, but was stymied for years.
Now there is an agreement to supply him with  500,000 kilograms per quota period.

The AOCP members are each yielding some of their plant supply quota to make the deal possible.

The same members earlier yielded some of their plant supply quota to a processing plant at Welland to in return for dropping lawsuits that challenged the no-trade agreement between the Quebec and Ontario marketing boards and processors.

CAMI also dropped its lawsuit challenging the Chicken Farmers of Canada and Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade process that denied it the right to import live birds from the U.S. to meet unfilled consumer demand for Hong Kong dressed chicken – i.e. feet and legs and heads left on.

The AOCP also agreed to yield plant supply quota to any Ontario processing plant willing to fill the demand for kosher chicken. So far none have been willing to make the huge investments required to meet kosher standards.

“The decision to expand the Laplante Poultry Farms chicken processing facility in Monkland will provide Eastern Ontario and other farmers with a new partnering opportunity for processing their chicken,” says the Chicken Farmers of Ontario marketing board on its website.

“CFO is dedicated to meeting chicken consumer markets, whether these markets are for conventional, specialty, or artisanal chicken or, as in this case, those looking for locally grown and processed chicken in Eastern Ontario,” said Rob Dougans, president and chief executive officer of the marketing board.

“This expansion also helps meet another long-time goal of Chicken Farmers of Ontario to help facilitate economic growth of the chicken industry and create jobs across the province including in Eastern Ontario.”

He has said nothing about long-standing complaints that Northern Ontario lacks producers and processors.

“We are the only Ontario chicken processor east of Toronto, “said Robert Laplante, operator of LaPlante Poultry Farm. “We are pleased to be able to grow our business in this region and offer processing capacity for those farmers looking for local options in the language of their choice.“

As a result of the additional chicken processing supply, the LaPlante processing plant will be upgraded to handle approximately 500,000 kilos of chicken per quota period and will increase the number of full time jobs at the facility by up to 25 workers.

The agreement also relieves the pressure from French-Canadian chicken producers who want to market their birds to processing plants in Quebec, something made difficult by the trade-ban agreement.