Saturday, October 2, 2021

Egg board fees, levies under challenge


Svante Lind and his Sweda Farms Ltd. have challenged the levies and fees the Egg Marketing Board of Ontario has been charging for years.

It first laid out its case to the board, asked for a review on Aug. 13 and was denied so now has filed an appeal with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Appeals Tribunal.

The tribunal has not yet responded to Linde.

The appeal lays out the case for why the egg board is garnering between $3.5 and $5 million a year on licences and fees which it lacks the right to collect. This has been going on for years, if not decades.

Lind claims the egg board levy is at least three per cent higher than can be justified.

The board is also paying 9.5 cents a dozen for grading and handling eggs it buys under the Nest Run program. Lind argues that two cents should be sufficient for handling. Nest Run eggs are not graded.

Lind also says the egg board ought to be paying processors the proper price for the eggs-for-processing category, not the market price for Grade A eggs.

Lind said the board charged his business almost $3,000 for fees and levies and said that's not significant for him, but on an industry-wide basis is in the millions per year.

The egg board rejected Linde’s appeal on the basis that he has an ongoing lawsuit against the board and its retired general manager, Harry Pelissero.

Lind countered that these issues are not related to the court cases.