Thursday, May 8, 2014

End of the Empire?

My facts were challenged in a posting I made on the Better Farming website about the failure of the Pullet Growers to join Supply Management.  That posting was copied, enhanced, and posted on this Blog as Pullets Pooched.

The BF comments suggest some people think Supply Management was a great idea 50 years ago when Bill C-176 was passed in Dec. 1971.  Some of those think Supply Management is still a good idea.  They question how it could still be around 50 years later if it was a bad idea.  They assume my facts are all screwed up when I suggest that the end of this bad idea may soon be here.  I acknowledge that those people exist, and have the right to their opinion.

My response to them was as follows:
I want to be sure I have accurate facts.  I appreciate you taking the time and effort to correct or clarify dubious facts.  You state there are errors.  Exactly where?  Please be specific.

Complex systems are affected by many factors.  Neither I, nor anybody else I know can predict the future.  If a system is complex, non-responsive to its stakeholders, and contrary to the best interest of its stakeholders, then I define that as a "bad idea".

Back in 1965 when Chicken Farmers of Ontario was formed, farmers were trapped and abused by the powerful upstream feed producers, and the downstream processors and distributors.  The consumers were being abused by the system too.  In Dec. 1971, a badly flawed Bill C-176 was again before Parliament, was passed and created Supply Management in Canada, so as to help the farmers.

Today, how much control, pressure, and influence do the feed mills, AOCP, and the downstream chicken distributors have on the farmers and the overall system?

To me, it seems that these large corporations have as much or more control and power as back in 1965.  Did Supply Management fix anything?

It appears that it increased the powers of the chicken farmers, and they have slowly joined forces with the upstream feed dealers, and the downstream processors and distributors, and started changing the system to the advantage of their special interests; growing in wealth, power, and prestige.  Statistics Canada reports in 2010 that chicken and egg farmers are the best paid farmers in Canada, with a median income of $90,250 per year, 21% higher than the median income of all farmers.  Do chicken & egg farmers work 21% harder than grain farmers?

The lowly consumer pays for all the benefits and excesses that everybody else takes for themselves.  If Supply Management was installed back in 1971 to help the farmers, when will this legislation be fixed so as to help the chicken consumers?

That date is unknown to me.  Governments work in mysterious ways.  If you have a crystal ball and want to take a guess, please do so.

All I am able to say is that the longer the abuse and oppression of consumers and small flockers continues, the higher the probability that change will eventually occur.  I believe that time will soon be here.

I have filed an Appeal with the Ministry of Agriculture Appeals Tribunal to expose all the issues I have researched in the last 3 years, and the relief I seek for consumers and small flockers. CFO has filed a Motion to Dismiss my appeal, wanting to continue the secrecy and continue the abuse and oppression.  CFO's Motion to Dismiss will be heard at the Appeals Tribunal in Guelph on May 14th at 9:30 AM.

Perhaps the end of this bad system and its abuse and oppression will end sooner than anybody thought possible.

Glenn Black
Small Flock Poultry Farmers of Canada

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