Monday, October 4, 2021

Sweda Farms files second appeal

Sweda Farms has filed a second appeal with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs tribunal, this one pushing the Egg Farmers of Ontario marketing board to use its authority to direct eggs to two small-scale grading stations.

Ninety per cent of Ontario’s eggs are graded by either Burnbrae Farms or L.H. Gray and Son Ltd.

Sweda has a federally-licensed egg-grading station at Blackstock and Ontario Pride has a station near Kitchener.

The appeal notes that the egg marketing board buys all surplus eggs and others destined for processing, so it could do the same for ungraded eggs from farms; Burnbrae and Gray own the processing facilities.

Burnbrae and Gray also have representatives sitting as directors on the Ontario egg marketing board.

In the earlier appeal, Sweda laid out information about fees and levies it claims are too high.

The marketing board and the processors benefit from those fees and levies. Farmers foot some of those costs and consumers the rest through the supply-management cost-of-production formula for establishing farm-gate prices.

Sweda Farms said the board should use its statutory powers to buy all eggs from farmers and then direct them to market which would include grading stations and processing plants.

And if it’s not willing to do that, Sweda said it should ensure that the two small-scale egg-grading stations get eggs from 200,000 hens each.

The appeal also asks for the right to conduct examinations for discovery (interviews by lawyers) and documents.