I saw the agricultural heavens open and heard the chicken angels clucking a chorus of “Hallelujah Bock Bock!” when I was informed the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission is going to investigate the operations of EFO. Will miracles never cease? Maybe Geri Kamenz will earn his six-figure salary when checking out Harry Pelissero and the boys and girls of the EFO Board of Directors – both past and present hopefully.
So does this mean that there was merit in those “unbelievable” emails between egg-gradier L.H. Gray and Son and EFO? (Remember those emails? Check them out here: http://agri007.blogspot.ca/2012/12/heres-scoop_7234.html). Is the EFO Board of Directors still standing behind its general manager and its policies and procedures? At the end of the investigation, how far behind the general manager will the Board be standing? I imagine there could be quite a distance of separation once the chicken poo starts to hit the fan. Maybe all those documents in the egg industry lawsuit are real and indicate collusion and numerous other problems with EFO? Or does it mean that finally, finally, finally somebody is listening and taking steps to make EFO accountable? In case it would help EFO, I would be willing to keep minutes of their meetings. Sure hope Harry calls soon.
As a former EFO egg producer, I constantly asked my Board of Director to improve the transparency of the management of EFO. When I became dissatisfied with the absence of improvements, I complained to the overseeing government body of EFO, the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission, to take action to force EFO to become more transparent. And let’s be clear, I wasn’t asking for videotaped meetings being shown on YouTube. I wasn’t asking to view the complete accounting ledgers of EFO’s operations. I was asking for minutes of meetings! I was asking for accountability regarding how EFO was spending the money that I provided for them! Quite simply, I was asking for honesty. I guess that’s too much to ask from EFO and it appears that Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission has difficulty being honest as well after having read Jim Romahn’s August 20, 2012 blog posting about their lack of transparency (http://agri007.blogspot.ca/2012/08/kamenz-accused-of-misleading-egg-lawyer.html).
Over the weekend, I was told about a form that all EFO Board of Directors are required to sign when they become a Director. The form is in place so that the Directors agree not to talk or discuss with anyone, even egg producers, about policy, procedures or business activities of EFO. Well, holy shit! Why does EFO even have a Board of Directors? Just let Mr. Pelissero run EFO and get rid of the façade of having a producer-run Board. Quit having the meetings and paying all the Directors to go to them! Those honorariums are going to be needed to fund the legal defense anyway. The Directors should be ashamed of themselves if they agree to sign this form and accept the terms included in the form. And the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission appears to be in EFO’s back pocket. Taxpayer dollars wasted again! The head of the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission, Geri Kamenz should recognize that the tail is wagging the dog. Maybe that’s how it worked at Mr. Kamenz previous job, Ontario Federation of Agriculture? I guess farmers are accustomed to having their taxpayer dollars wasted.