Egg Farmers of Canada concerned over USMCA

CANADA - Canadian egg farmers are concerned with the outcome of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which is now called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA)
calendar icon 3 October 2018
clock icon 3 minute read

While additional time and analysis is required to fully understand the potential future impact of such a result on not just our farmers, the final agreement has granted additional access to the Canadian egg market, with further market access granted to Canada’s poultry sectors and poses significant impact to the future of Canada’s dairy sector.

“The outcome of the negotiations will have a negative impact on the system of supply management as a whole and specifically on the vitality of Canada’s egg farming sector. It represents a hit to consumers who overwhelmingly prefer Canadian eggs, with nearly 90 percent agreeing it’s important that the eggs they purchase are produced in Canada,” said Roger Pelissero, Chairman of Egg Farmers of Canada.

We are always worried about the impact resulting from increased access on the sustainability of Canadian egg, poultry and dairy industries and are especially concerned about what appears to be yet another devastating impact on our fellow dairy farmers. While we are still assessing the full impact of the USMCA agreement, the outcome means more foreign eggs on grocery store shelves. These latest concessions along with the concessions made earlier this year at the conclusion of the CPTPP will result in a loss of farm family income, and will affect the health and continued viability of rural communities across Canada.

“These concessions offer very little value to Canadian consumers who have said time and time again that they want Canadian eggs. Yet the very farm families who make sure high-quality, locally produced eggs end up on our tables will see their livelihoods weakened.”

In a climate where consumers are paying close attention to their purchasing decisions and looking for Canadian-made options, more than 1,000 egg farmers proudly deliver one of the few food items produced in all 10 provinces and the Northwest Territories. The egg farming sector employs over 17,600 Canadians across the country, contributes $1.37 billion annually to the Canadian economy, and delivers nearly half a billion dollars in municipal, provincial and federal taxes.

While the Canadian government has repeatedly shared its intent to protect supply management, the outcome of USMCA fails to uphold the interest of Canadian consumers and the future of Canada’s egg farms.

Ryan Johnson

Editor at The Poultry Site

Ryan worked in conservation from 2008 to 2017, during which time he operated a rainbow trout hatchery and helped to maintain public and protected green spaces in Canada for the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. As editor of The Poultry Site, he now writes about challenges and opportunities in agriculture across the globe.

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