Thursday, April 10, 2014

Chicken board software grant

The Ontario government has given $800,000 to the Chicken Farmers of Ontario marketing board to buy German software to gather supply-chain data for the chicken industry.

This is the dumbest government grant I’ve seen in a long time.

First, what makes the chicken board a logical manager for a supply-chain information system?

The only supply-chain partners the chicken board seems to consult is the Association of Ontario Chicken Processors.

It certainly works hand-in-glove with the AOCP, even assisting in its ham-handed efforts to stifle competition from small-volume upstart processors who actually pioneer new chicken products and find niche markets.

Can the chicken board point to any meaningful consultation with further processors, supermarket chains, restaurant chains or foodservice companies?

Does it consult them about the volume, quality and type of chickens they want before it approaches the national agency for allocations?

And why, pray tell, are we using taxpayer dollars to buy German software when we have one of the world’s leading computer-studies universities in Waterloo?

And why, in any case, does the chicken board need a government handout, especially when it boasts long and loud that because it has supply management, it doesn’t need government subsidies?