Saturday, September 30, 2023

Sweda files lawsuit vs. egg board, Burnbrae, Gray

Sweda Farms, owned by Svante Lind of Blackstock, has filed a second lawsuit against Burnbrae Farms, Grayridge and the Egg Farmers of Ontario marketing board, alleging they have conspired to keep Sweda out of the egg-grading market in Ontario.

The original lawsuit, now years old and yet to go to trial, alleges they conspired to drive Sweda out of the market.

Sweda filed the second lawsuit after the egg board refused its request to use its marketing mandate and power to direct the production from 200,000 hens (5.3 million eggs per year) to Sweda.

Failing to direct eggs from farmers deprives Sweda of its right to participate in the market, says the lawsuit. It also notes that senior executives of the two companies are directors of the Ontario egg board.

The lawsuit argues that Burnbrae and Grayride hold a dominating market share. That restricts farmers’ choice of a grading station to which they can direct their eggs and limits supplier choice for wholesale buyers and retail chains and their customers.

Now Burnbrae has made a deal with the Nutri Group to buy its egg-grading stations in Kitchener and Monkton, exaggerating concentration in the market.

Sweda’s lawsuit says “the Gray Defendants and the Burnbrae Defendants, who were and are Ontario’s largest egg producers and graders, unlawfully conspired to raise, maintain, fix, and/or stabilize prices, and reduce rebates, at which eggs were sold in Ontario to wholesale customers, retail customers and breaking stations, by eliminating Sweda as a competitor from the egg grading market.”

It says “they conspired, agreed, and arranged to allocate sales, territories, customers or markets for the production or supply of producers eggs in Ontario in a manner that benefitted themselves.”

And it says they used the egg board in their conspiracy.

It also alleges they violated the federal competition act.


The accused have denied any wrongdoing. No date has yet been set for a trial.

Burnbrae buying two Nutri stations

Burnbrae Farms has an agreement with the Nutri Group to buy its egg-grading stations in Kitchener and Monkland, Ont.

It further consolidates the dominant hold that Burnbrae and Gray Ridge Eggs have in the Ontario market; it will now exceed 90 per cent.

There is a civil lawsuit, filed by Svante Lind, that alleges the two have discussed which one will serve which customers in various parts of Ontario and beyond, and when they will change wholesale prices.

They also made a joint purchase of Metzger Produce egg-grading station at Wallenstein, the largest previous sale of an egg-grading business in Ontario.

Lind’s lawsuit alleges that they and the Egg Farmers of Ontario marketing board colluded to drive him out of the egg-grading industry. 

A date has yet to be set for the trial which now involves only Gray and the egg board after Lind’s previous lawyer failed to require Burnbrae to produce documents and a judge ruled that Burnbrae could be let out.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Avian influenza hits in Alta., Sask,


Birds are migrating south and three poultry flocks in Western Canada have been hit by avian influenza.

Two in Alberta and one in Saskatchewan will be euthanized to prevent the disease from spreading.

There are also quarantine zones to block traffic in or out to keep the highly contagious virus from spreading.

Canada bans poultry from France


The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is temporarily suspending the importation of all live poultry, hatching eggs, and raw fresh/frozen poultry products originating from France, effective October 1, 2023, the agency said on its website.

“This measure is being taken to manage the potential risk from France’s vaccination campaign for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI).”

Turkey Farmers create float


Turkey Farmers of Ontario has bought a float to enter in the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest parade Monday. Oct. 9.

It is one of Canada’s largest parades.

Turkey Farmers of Ontario is also planning to serve turkey-recipe foods that day.

The huge float is made of wood, foam and paper.

Bunge, Viterra merger to be reviewed


The federal government is going to review the planned merger of Bunge and Viterra.

As part of the review, the transport ministry will launch a public interest assessment of the proposed acquisition, which must be completed by June 2, 2024, said Transport MinisterPablo Rodriguez.

“Both companies hold ownership interests in port terminals throughout our country. Healthy competition in the transportation sector is necessary to ensure fair pricing and access for users, especially for Canadian farmers," Rodriguez said.

Ashley Honsberger to head OSCIA


Ashley Honsberger is moving from executive director of the Poultry Industry Council to executive director of the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association effective Oct. 9.

She takes over from Andrew Graham who has been with the OSCIA for 33 years, the last eight at executive director.

OSCIA said in a release Honsberger brings a strong background in administration and leadership