According to a blog post by Jim Romahn (http://agri007.blogspot.com/2013/06/court-documents-detail-egg-deficiencies.html), Canada Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) reports demonstrate that the statements made by Norman Bourdeau about cracks being packed into retail Grade A egg cartons, are true. Attempts to keep this evidence hidden have been going on for years and now the ‘yolk’ is on L. H. Gray/Gray Egg Farms. The consequences for this are yet to be determined, but let’s hope there are some consequences. Especially since Gray, through his legal representative, has been protesting and denying this practice vehemently since this whole saga began.
Gray isn’t the only party who said the equivalent of “but I didn’t inhale”. Burnbrae Eggs and the Egg Farmers of Ontario also took that position. So is Mr. Bourdeau correct about them too? I had hoped that Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission would have at least checked into EFO as they are the supervising body for EFO. Literally after years of repeated requests, Farm Products is finally (and probably reluctantly) ‘investigating’ EFO – but it’s just their transparency that is being questioned. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been hollering about EFO’s lack of transparency for years so I’m thankful that Farm Products is finally doing something – or at least appear to be doing something. But this goes beyond transparency and that should be evident to all parties involved – egg producers, graders, Farm Products, CFIA and the Ministry of Agriculture. If only the majority of consumers understood the egg industry and supply management, this would have been investigated long ago.
It appears that Mr. Bourdeau is not Chicken Little stating that the sky is falling. The question is how many foxes are there in this tale?
The egg industry wars have fired up again! Yee-haw! I’ve been getting a little bored lately – so thanks to Jim Romahn’s blog post, “Here’s the scoop” (http://agri007.blogspot.ca/2012/12/heres-scoop_7234.html) for lifting my Christmas spirits once again! That blog post is definitely a lengthy one but anyone who wants to know what Gray is being accused of can certainly become informed – complete with email quotes. Considering those quotes, it makes me wonder how in the world Bill Gray, L.H. Gray staff and Egg Farmers of Ontario (EFO), specifically EFO General Manager, Harry Pelissero, can claim that they have done nothing wrong. Really? I’m not buyin’ it. And if this information isn’t true and damaging, why does the Gray lawyer want it kept secret? Is the EFO Board of Directors still ready to support their manager and staff in light of this information? If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, must be a duck? That’s right.
I also caught wind of the new policy that’s being implemented at EFO, regarding quota increases. For those folks who don’t understand how it used to work, when the supply of eggs in Ontario needed to be increased because Harry and his Board deemed it necessary, quota was given (yes, I said GIVEN!!) to already existing egg producers. So let’s see how that worked – so for an egg producer who had 10,000 chickens already (which is a small flock in Ontario) and a 1% increase was GIVEN, that egg producer would be GIVEN the right to house an additional 100 chickens but if they didn’t have room for those birds because their barn was full, they got to SELL that GIFT of birds. In this case, to the tune of $250/bird for a total GIFT of $25,000. Well Merry Christmas Egg Producers!
Now the process involves leasing out the increased quota which equates to added revenue to EFO rather than to the individual producers. So why the policy change now? Trans Pacific Trade Talks making them a little nervous? Possibly? Needing a bit more revenue to fund those lawsuits that Harry says aren’t costing EFO anything? Definitely. One will never know the real reason unless it is ‘leaked’ by someone in-the-know as EFO isn’t accountable to anyone – even their own producers. Maybe the lawsuits or the trade talks will change that. Here’s hoping!