During the summer the board indicates six to seven loads a week of small and peewee eggs were being diverted to inedible under an Ontario marketing board program called Early Egg Removal to help the processors who indicated had too many eggs coming in compared to demand for processed eggs and which only became public in January.
Sweda said data indicates six to seven loads a week would be almost all the small eggs produced in Ontario; it does not seem plausable the graders can not sell a high percentage of the smalls and that board needs to divert them to inedible.
Sweda also says that six to seven loads that are diverted a week appears to be much more volume that the actual decline in processed eggs sales.
The graders declare which eggs are diverted under the program therefore Sweda states they could include other undergrade eggs that the board pays for at the much higher small egg price.
Sweda believes that program is not monitored by the egg board during the times it is used which costs the board – and quota holders fund the board through levies – about $213,000 a week.
About three per cent of the table market is small-size eggs and table egg demand is constantly increasing, Sweda said.
Sweda said that if the egg board took control of small and peewee eggs, it could sell them to food-service companies such as Gordon Food Services and Sysco or export them to Asia, rather then the inedible market.
Sweda said when the board considers its brief, directors who are employees or officers of Burnbrae Farms and L.H. Gray and Son Ltd. ought to be excluded as having a conflict of interest.
They own egg processing plants that benefit from the programs that divert eggs to processing. They also grade about 90 per cent of the eggs marketed in Ontario.