Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Complaint against Chicken Farmers of Canada

In a previous posting I had described a letter I had sent to Chicken Farmers of Canada "(CFC") back on March 7, 2013.

CFC ignored me, and refused to answer.

On May 17, 2013 I grew tired of waiting for CFC, so I complained to Farm Products Council of Canada ("FPCC"), CFC's supervisory body established by the Federal Government.

On June 7, 2013 FPCC wrote back requesting clarification of my complaint, and asking me to justify that I was directly affected by CFC's decisions, actions, and/or inactions.

Apparently there needs to be a a dead body, a smoking gun in the hands of CFC's Board, gunpower residue, and blood splatter; if not, it doesn't count.

They have enough business at the Complaints Window that FPCC has developed a policy on how and when to complain.

I have revised and elaborated on my complaint against CFC, latest version available here

The ball is now squarely in FPCC's court.  Any bets on how they will respond?

Monday, July 22, 2013

OIPP supports Small Flockers

Small Flockers have received support from OIPP (Ontario Independent Poultry Processers).  Thanks!

According to a July 19, 2013 article in Better Farming John Slott, OIPP's General Manager mentioned that OIPP believes the small flock exemption:
"...should be increased or equal to other provinces’ amounts."
Slot clarified that OIPP was joining forces with neither Small Flockers nor Practical Farmers, the two groups who plan to appeal Chicken Farmer's regulations.

Small Flockers appreciate and welcome the stand taken by OIPP.

It is always difficult to take a stand on an issue before it becomes mainstream.  We hereby recognize OIPP's courage.

P.S.   I was unsuccessful at getting guest postings during my 2 weeks vacation.  Thanks for your understanding and patience during this Blog's silence during that time.  We are now ready to continue our steady march towards our Small Flocker's destiny.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

If the US can, why can't Canada?

Small Flockers have proposed that poultry farmers be allowed to offer self-inspected, farm-slaughtered poultry at the farm gate to willing consumers, provided the farmer gives full disclosure to each customer.

When I explain this to people, some screw up their face, wince, or look at me in disbelief.  "It'll never fly!", they say, or "Where did you get a crazy idea like that?", or "Who would buy that when they can get inspected chicken in every grocery store?", or "That would kill all of our export markets, as international markets would be worried they were being shipped some of that un-inspected meat".

Admittedly, it's not for everyone.  If someone prefers what the commercial chicken factories have for sale, so be it.  However, why does this group feel a need to force their choice onto everybody else.

You may like chocolate ice cream.  You may like it so well that it's your favorite dessert. However, should you be listened to if you try to ban strawberry, vanilla, and the other thousands of flavours in favor of chocolate?  How fair would that be?  Why can't everybody be left to make up their own minds?  Of course, if any of these ice creams are unsafe, or use deceptive advertising, no matter what flavour, then the consumer should be protected, and the fraudster prosecuted.

There is precedence for this "crazy idea" of self-inspected poultry.

Pennsylvania State University describes the 1,000 bird limit for Poultry Product Inspection Act (PPIA), where we find:
"...there are limited provisions for poultry growers who slaughter no more than 1,000 poultry in a calendar year for use as human food. A person may slaughter and process on his or her premises poultry that he or she raised and they may distribute such poultry without mandatory inspection when the following six criteria are met [PPIA Section 464(c)(4) “Section 15 (c)(4)”; Title 9 CFR §381.10(c)].

1. The poultry grower slaughters no more than 1,000 healthy birds of his or her own raising in a calendar year for distribution as human food.

2. The poultry grower does not engage in buying or selling poultry products other than those produced from poultry raised on his or her own farm.

3. The slaughter and processing are conducted under sanitary standards, practices, and procedures that produce poultry prod-ucts that are sound, clean and fit for human food (not adulterated).

4. The producer keeps records necessary for the effective enforcement of the Act [Title 9 CFR 381.175].

5. The poultry products do not move in commerce.   Note: Commerce means the exchange or transportation of poultry products between States, U.S. territories (Guam, Virgin Island of the United States, and American Samoa), and the District of Columbia [PPIA Section 453; Title 9CFR §381.1(b)].

6. The shipping containers bear:
a. the producer’s name,
b. the producer’s address, and
c. the statement, "Exempt P.L. 90-492".
There is a similar exemption for farmers who want to do up to 20,000 birds per year, provided it's only for sale within the farmer's own State.

So if the US can do it, why not Canada?