Monday, May 13, 2013

OMAF consulting on meat-packer regulation

Glenn Black, the small-flock chicken farmer from Northern Ontario, says he’s heartened by how well staff listened when the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs held a meeting recently in Sudbury to talk about amending meat-plant regulations. He says that in a discussion with OMAF staff before the meeting began, he was told that the ministry now realizes that the new regulations it introduced in 2005 went too far. That’s nice of them, but comes eight years too late for dozens of small-scale meat packers who closed their shops because they found it too expensive and frustrating to comply. OMAF is now concentrating on addressing the main risks as identified by years of experience across Canada and the United States. Black says on his blog,,that “the Meat Regulations is one of the thorns sticking into my side as a Small Flocker. “Small Flocker's aren't the only ones. Sustain Ontario has well documented other small businesses who have been closed, or made less profitable, or less competitive by regulations gone wild,” he writes. “OMAF currently has 134 slaughter plants, and 350 stand-alone meat plants who are licensed in Ontario. “They would have had many, many more if OMAF had followed their crazy Meat Regs. to the letter of the law. “When they realized their mistake, the minister set a new policy where OMAF decided that they wouldn't enforce that part of the regs, and wouldn't issue a license. “If they hadn't back tracked, OMAF would have crushed the Ontario economy and the meat industry even worse than they do today. “I assume it wasn't easy for OMAF to partially admit its mistakes, so my thanks to OMAF for taking this difficult but necessary step for the good of Ontario,” writes Black.