Monthly Archives: June 2011

Playing Hide ‘n’ Seek at EFO

I’m still waiting for my friends at the Farm Products Marketing Commission to answer my question regarding the process that is required to file a complaint with them.  In the meantime, I continue to read the document, compiled by Norman Bourdeau that is in the egg regulatory hands and continue to be amazed at its contents.   Here’s another sample of a quote from this document.  It is an email from Scott Brookshaw, Vice President of Operations of Gray Ridge Eggs, to President of Gray Ridge Eggs, Bill Gray.  The email refers to the General Manager of Egg Farmers of Ontario, Harry Pelissero.

Scott writes to Bill:  “When I met Harry today he will give $1000 per week and tell me how to invoice the Egg Board (Egg Farmers of Ontario – EFO).  Based on a 65000 pound load that gives 1.54 cents per pound.  The extra transportation cost is 1.5 cents per pound so the money we will get for breaking the 65000 pounds of egg white for drying will be a bonus.  We can start with a load next week.  Harry will only pay for one load as he is going to try and hide this.  Wants us to keep quiet.  Scott.”

As a former egg producer, I don’t understand why the General Manager should be telling an egg grading station ‘how’ to invoice the Egg Board (really the Egg Farmers of Ontario) for anything, unless there is something that is being ‘disguised’ or hidden.  And obviously, hiding is the objective as stated in Scott Brookshaw’s email.  Based on my experience and the many attempts that I have made to illustrate the transparency of the Egg Board (really the lack thereof!), it’s not hard to hide whatever Harry Pelissero wants to hide.  Up to now, he’s been quite successful, and has the support of the Board of Directors of EFO to help with the hiding.  But he may have to dig a little deeper into his bag of tricks to keep things hidden in the future.

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Fact or Frivolous?

I’m still waiting.  Close to three months now – and who says I’m not patient?  I’ve been waiting on Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission to tell me how to file a complaint with their office.  Granted, I’m sure they’ve got their hands full.  Hands full of the same document that I’ve been reading.  A document written/compiled by a former contractor of L.H.Gray and Sons (now known as Gray Ridge Eggs Inc.), an egg grading station in Strathroy and Listowel.  This document has become my late-night read – better than most espionage novels I’ve read but I’m afraid that there might not be a happy ending for the main characters.  I’d like to share a few of the ‘juicy’ parts – there’s so many.  Here’s a couple of my favourites:

–        Email between  Gray Ridge Eggs, VP/Sales & Marketing, Mike Walsh and President of Gray Ridge Eggs, Bill Gray:

“In my mind something this sensitive should be controlled by the decision makers.  You and Aaron on the process side.  You and Aaron can decide if others need to be involved.  However, Aaron will need to understand David, is not to be involved.  I do not need to remind you that what we are discussing is illegal.  Therefore, too many folks involved could be dangerous. “

–        Emails between Bill Gray and Gray Ridge Eggs Inc. VP of Operation, Scott Brookshaw

“Scott:  I was talking to Meb & he re-grades the loose (eggs) from the U.S. into Canadian cartons.  If we require more than 2 loads per week, we could do the same.  I don’t like the inv. Levels at both plants.  Bill”

“Meb can’t legally do that unless you have a USDA symbol on the carton.  If we have a carton with a USDA symbol then we can do that.  Scott”

“He said CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) will allow it this year only.  I assume he is re-grading in the off hours.  Bill”

 

Sounds like illegal activity to me.  The writers of the emails know it too – they state it in the email.  These are just two of the examples that make me proud to have been an Ontario egg producer.  I guess the marketing campaign of “Who made your eggs today?” can be answered with, “probably some subsidized American egg farmer or maybe a manipulative Canadian egg grader”.    So why does Canada support supply management again?  And Gray Ridge and EFO say all of this is frivolous.  I hate to think what they think is important.

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