Nutri Group, a farmer-owned egg-grading company, has bought a site in Kitchener.
It’s the company’s third site and will be in the back yard of L.H. Gray & Son Ltd.’s plant at Listowel.
Gray and Burnbrae Farms Ltd., which together account for about 90 per cent market share, once conspired to try to keep Nutri Group out of Ontario.
They corresponded, according to e-mails involved in court action, to try to buy Svante Lind’s Best Choice Eggs at Blackstock, fearing that Nutri Oeuf would buy it and vie for the lucrative Toronto market.
As matters turned out, Burnbrae dropped its bid to buy Best Choice and it ended up, a few years later in the midst of litigation, as part of Nutri Group.
Lind sued Burnbrae, accusing it of sharing confidential information with Gray before it backed out of the deal.
Burnbrae has been allowed out of the case by a judge who said Lind’s lawyer, Donald Good, failed to seek Burnbrae documents in a timely fashion.
Lind’s conspiracy case against Gray and the Egg Farmers of Ontario marketing board remains active.
One of the related issues is an accusation that Mary Jean McFall, one of Joe Hudson’s daughters and potential heir to Burnbrae, committed perjury related to the disclosure of confidential information to Gray. She is now chief of staff for federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay,.
Two judges have ruled that there’s not enough prospect of a perjury conviction, but that is now under appeal.
It’s in the context of all this that Nutri Group is emerging as a serious competitor to Burnbrae and Gray.