Canadian taxpayers will spend $691 million over the next decade helping to “drive innovation and market development” for the nation’s 4,800 supply-managed chicken, turkey and egg farmers.
Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced details of the two new programs that have been put in place as compensation to the sector for market losses resulting from the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
“The government is delivering on our commitment to compensate our supply-managed farmers for losses from recent trade agreements. These investments will help ensure continued growth and prosperity for our poultry and egg farmers, who help keep Canada’s rural communities strong and vibrant,” said Bibeau. “We have worked hand-in-hand with industry to ensure they have the full and fair support they need to continue to keep our family farms thriving and our grocery shelves full of good Canadian products.”
The Poultry and Egg On-Farm Investment Program will provide close to $630 million over 10 years to support poultry and egg farmers through on-farm investments. Producers will be entitled to an amount proportional to their quota holdings. Eligible projects are anything that helps a producer modernize, become more competitive and adapt to changing consumer preferences. This includes new barn construction or upgrading equipment like feeding, watering, lighting, ventilation, heating, and comfort systems that will promote energy efficiency and reduce environmental footprint. The government will contribute up to 70% of the project cost, a ratio increasing to up to 85% for young farmers to help ensure a strong future for Canada’s farms. Application intake will launch later this spring.
Funding will roll out starting in 2021-22. It includes:
· $347.3 million for chicken producers;
· $59.6 million for turkey producers;
· $134 million for egg producers; and,
· $88.6 million for broiler hatching egg producers.
Meanwhile, the Market Development Program for Turkey and Chicken will provide $36.5 million for the Turkey Farmers of Canada and $25 million for the Chicken Farmers of Canada over 10 years. Those dollars will help promote the involved groups promote their Canadian-made products’ reputation for high-quality, safe and sustainably farmed food that adheres to strict animal welfare standards. Funding will be distributed to the national industry organizations, who will submit a multi-year strategy to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada for approval. The intake for applications from these organizations launched April 13, 2021.
The four supply-managed poultry and egg sectors (chicken, broiler hatching eggs, turkey, and eggs) generated $4.9 billion in farm cash receipts in 2020, 6.8 percent of all farm cash receipts in Canada. According to industry, Canada’s poultry and egg sector supports more than 140,000 direct and indirect jobs.
Sector representatives expressed their gratitude for the new programs.
“We very much appreciate this commitment by the federal government,” said Darren Ference, Chair of the Turkey Farmers of Canada.
Egg Farmers of Canada Chair Roger Pelissero expressed thanks for the government’s “continued and vocal support for supply management and our strong, domestic agriculture sector.”
Glengarry-Prescott-Russell Libera MP Francis Drouin said the program rollout was “testament that we listened to our farmers’ concerns and proposed solutions to mitigate the impacts of the CPTPP.”