Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Hatching egg appeal hearings completed

Public hearings into a challenge the Association of Ontario Chicken Processors filed against the Ontario Broiler Hatching Egg and Chick Commission wound up Wednesday, two days ahead of schedule.

The weeks-long public hearings featured mind-numbing detailed testimony and cross-examinations of the hatching egg commission’s cost of production formula.

It wound up with agricultural economist John Groenewegen on the stand, testifying that the hatching egg commission’s formula closely copies one that the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission imposed on the Chicken Farmers of Ontario marketing board.

If the chicken-processing companies win their appeal, it would not only force the hatching egg commission to reduce its prices, but might undermine the chicken board’s formula.

The chicken board uses its formula as the basis for negotiating prices with the chicken processors.

The hatching egg commission has the authority to set prices and doesn’t need to negotiate with processors, but in practice has listened to their concerns.

It did amend its formula and slightly reduced prices, but the processors eventually decided to file an appeal to the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Appeal Tribunal.

The public hearings were held via ZOOM internet service.