The Canadian Hatching Egg Industry

The hatching egg industry in Canada is well-developed and organized and serves foreign markets across the world, with exports to Turkey, France, Russia, the United States, and other countries.

History and Recent Developments

Editor of Poultryman Fred Benson was the first to raise the question of a supply management system in 1948. The reason behind this was to make the egg industry more competitive after Britain decided to cut back on exports. British Columbia was the first province to develop and adopt a comprehensive strategy to support egg producers in the province. The strategy was adopted in an attempt to reverse a trend of plummeting chicken prices. It was in 1961 when the Broiler Marketing Board was established in British Columbia. Quebec and Ontario followed suit shortly after (1965) and established their own marketing boards. The main goal was to boost the competitiveness and bargaining power of farmers in the sector. However, cheaper products were continuously imported from the United States and produced in other provinces. Fred Benson was the one to convince broiler producers to discuss the establishment of a national broiler council. In 1965, the National Broiler Council was established in Toronto. 

Facts and Figures

Today there are 16 laying egg hatcheries, 11 turkey hatcheries, and 40 broiler hatcheries across Canada’s territories and provinces. The hatching egg production for 2016 amounts to a little more than 735 million eggs. Different species are raised to produce eggs of high quality for the domestic market and for export. The United States is the largest export partner of Canada while Canadian businesses also import eggs from the U.S. A total of some 132 million broiler hatching eggs were imported from the U.S., worth close to $33 million.

National and Regional Organizations and Agencies

The Canadian Hatching Eggs Producers is a national agency with members from Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia. In 1985, CHEP was established under an agreement between the egg farmers and the provincial and federal authorities. It was founded under the Farm Products Agency Acts and is currently based in Ottawa.

The agency represents the interests of a total of 230 farmers and egg producers across Canada. The goal is to ensure that the industry is competitive and strong to secure a constant supply of eggs to the domestic market and for export. The CHEP works in cooperation with partners in different sectors, including dairy, egg, turkey, and chicken sectors. This is done to ensure proper supply management and to meet demand. The supply management system in Canada combines several key components, including price, import, and quota controls to ensure constant and dependable supply of superb quality products. The industry itself serves consumers, restaurants, hotels, chains, and the food service industry in general.

Quotas

Each province is responsible for setting inter-provincial quotes that specify the quantity of hatching eggs to be produced and delivered. Quotas are specified by the Commodity Board in each province. Quota exemptions vary from one province to another.