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The Farm Products Marketing Agencies Act (FPMAA) was created 40 years ago in response to the chaos in the poultry and egg markets that existed in the 1960s and early 1970s.  An oversupply of eggs in Ontario and broiler chickens in Quebec led producers to seek markets in each other’s province.  To gain market shares, the eggs and broilers were sold below local prices.

The Ontario-Quebec chicken and egg “war” spread across the country, resulting in a number of provinces passing legislation that restricted the entry of eggs and chicken in their province.

The conflicts ended in 1971 when Manitoba challenged, in court, the seizure of a shipment of its eggs by the British Columbia Egg Marketing Board.  The Court’s 1971 decision, known as the Manitoba Egg Reference Case, ruled that a provincial board could not restrict the entry of products from another province.

Prior to this decision, the federal government, at the request of egg producers across Canada and the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, introduced Bill C-197 in March 1970.  This Bill would permit a national marketing agency to, amongst other powers, restrict production and establish an allocation system of production quota for each province.  Although Bill C-197 died on the order papers early in 1970 due to significant opposition, it was reintroduced in October 1970 as Bill C-176, the precursor to the FPMAA, later amended to the Farm Products Agencies Act in 1993.

Following two all-night sessions and a last-minute amendment, the House of Commons consented to Bill C-176 on December 31, 1971, at 6:40 a.m.

Royal assent was given to the FPMAA on January 12, 1972.  The FPAA established the National Farm Products Marketing Council (NFPMC), which was changed to the Farm Products Council of Canada (FPCC) in 2009.  It began its operations on April 1, 1972, and authorized the establishment of national marketing agencies for farm products.

At first, the FPMAA included a definition section and two parts.  Part I pertained to the creation of NFPMC and outlined its duties, powers and the responsibilities to conduct public hearings as well as organizational requirements.

Part II pertained to the national marketing agencies and outlined their requirements such as how an agency would be established, the need for a Proclamation, membership of agencies, their objects and powers, including the setting of production quotas, the collection of levies, as well as financial and reporting requirements.

In 1993, the FPMAA was amended to include a Part III, which enabled the establishment of Promotion and Research Agencies (PRA).  Agencies created under Part III of the FPAA have the authority to collect levies on interprovincial, export and import trade but do not have the authority to set production quotas.

1972 – Establishment of the Egg Farmers of Canada (EFC), legally known as the Canadian Egg Marketing Agency (CEMA)

1974 – Establishment of the Turkey Farmers of Canada (TFC), legally known as the Canadian Turkey Marketing Agency (CTMA)

1978 – Establishment of the Chicken Farmers of Canada (CFC)

1986 – Establishment of the Canadian Hatching Egg Producers (CHEP)

2002 – Establishment of the Canadian Beef Cattle Research Market Development and Promotion Agency (Beef Agency)