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Canadian Supply Management Comes Into Question

(Posted on Jun 30, 2012 at 04:18PM )
I recently had the opportunity to listen to  Al Sakalauskas, Executive Director of the BC Egg Marketing Board compare the US method delivering Eggs to consumers compared to the Canadian process.

Before anyone can engage in a discussion here as we are seeing in national newspapers one has to understand that there are significant differences between Canada and the US, how eggs are farmed, how they get to market and how they are sold.

Setting the stage here from a layman's stand point there are a number of factors to consider:

The US is big production feeding a big population over a massively larger distribution network.

In fact, it is little known that there are only 10 huge factory egg farms in the US that supply approximately 49% of the entire US Egg consumption. That is a lot of eggs and one can only imagine the size of these operations.

In Canada we have provincial egg farmers that tend to be smaller family run farms with each provincial Egg Marketing Board managing the supply chain.

In the US big business dominates the national egg scene so prices are dictated to the retailer depending on the time of the year. In Canada prices are managed by the Egg Marketing Boards to ensure consistent pricing and deliver throughout the year.

There are huge differenced between the US style of farming compared to Canadian system as there are with food distribution, transportation and vendors that have evolved over decades.

On the surface those that wish to dismantle marketing boards talk about the huge savings to consumers compared to the US Egg production machine. For those that support supply management they predict a disaster to local family farms and the quality of our eggs yet the prices would more than likely remain the same.

Who know what would happen but there are many more factors to consider in the overall discussion than the simple price of an egg.