Monday, December 12, 2011

Lowbank appeal delayed

The appeal that Lowbank Farms Ltd. filed against the Chicken Farmers of Ontario marketing board has been delayed into next year.

No date has yet been set by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Appeal Tribunal. The public hearing was originally scheduled for Dec. 13 in Guelph.

Harry Fennema, owner of Lowbank Farms, filed the appeal to gain relief from marketing board controls that make it difficult for him to match production with processing capacity at a plant run by his brother, John.

They set up the farm and processing plant to run as an integrated operation, but marketing board policies result in times when there are either too many birds being produced, or not enough.

When there are too many, the marketing board has directed the extras to Maple Leaf Foods Ltd., but that hasn’t been practical for Maple Leaf because the volume is too small.