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Overview

The Egg Farmers of Canada (EFC) is the National Agency responsible for the orderly production and marketing of shell eggs in Canada. Legally known as the Canadian Egg Marketing Agency, EFC was established in 1972, pursuant to subsection 16(1) of the Farm Products Marketing Agencies Act (legally known as the Farm Products Agencies Act (FPAA) since 1993) and a federal-provincial agreement between the federal agriculture minister, provincial agriculture ministers (in Alberta and Quebec, the Ministers of Intergovernmental Affairs are also signatories), Farm Products Council of Canada, provincial supervisory boards, egg producers in member provinces, and EFC.

EFC Board of Directors and Structure

EFC has ten provincial members and one territorial member: British Columbia, Alberta, Northwest Territories, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador. Each elects a representative to the Agency’s Board of Directors. The Canadian Egg Marketing Agency Proclamation was amended by the Federal Government in 1996 to allow for the addition of four non-producer members. The Consumers’ Association of Canada appoints one member to represent Canadian consumers. Three representatives are appointed from egg industry stakeholders: two named by the Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors Council - one representing the egg grading sector and one representing the egg processing sector. The Canadian Hatchery Federation appoints one member representing egg-type hatcheries in Canada, resulting in a total number of 16 directors, which includes the Chair, who is elected among EFC’s membership.

EFC’s Role, Responsibilities and Objects

EFC’s objects are listed in section 21 of the FPAA:

  1. to promote a strong, efficient and competitive production and marketing industry for the regulated product or products in relation to which it may exercise its powers; and

  2. to have due regard to the interests of producers and consumers of the regulated product or products.

EFC’s Board of Directors meets, at least quarterly, to plan and manage egg production and marketing. This mainly involves setting or adjusting production quota, and setting an annual levy to defray the administrative, marketing, and other costs and expenses deemed essential by the Agency for the realization of its objects. This levy is included in the price that consumers pay for table eggs.

Quota Allocation

Quota allocation (the regulation is called the Canadian Egg Marketing Quota Regulations, 1986) covers production over a set period, usually a calendar year. EFC administers four quota allocation policies:

  1. Federal Allocation: Shell eggs allocated under the federal allocation are to be produced for the table market. Eggs surplus to the table market are purchased by EFC at the lower of the provincial producer price or the provincial cost of production, plus an administration and handling fee and resold to egg processors at the Canadian processor price.

  2. Eggs for Processing (EFP) Allocation: Shell eggs allocated under the EFP allocation are to be produced for the egg processing market and the price received for these eggs is generally below the cost of producing the eggs. Not all provinces have an EFP allocation.

  3. Export Market Development Allocation: This allocation resides in Manitoba and the eggs produced under this allocation must be sold to an egg processor.

  4. Vaccine Egg Allocation: Fertilized eggs are produced under this allocation and sold to pharmaceutical companies for producing the annual flu vaccine, amongst other vaccines.

  5. Special Temporary Market Requirement Quota (STMRQ): To help Canadian egg processors cope with higher import prices caused by the 2015 Avian Influenza crisis in the U.S., EFC introduced the STMRQ. This quota type will be supplied by birds that had been classified under the Federal Allocation but are at the end of the usual lay cycle. The birds will be either soft molted or have their production cycle extended. Egg farmers will receive the processor price for eggs produced under this quota type. Once the crisis in the U.S. is over STMRQ will be phased out.

Levies Order

EFC’s levies order (the Canadian Egg Marketing Levies Order) is expressed in dollars per dozen and is set during the Agency’s November meeting and is derived out of the annual budget for the upcoming year.

Industrial Products Program

As egg production is continuous, while market demand fluctuates seasonally and due to other factors, EFC operates its Industrial Products Program (IPP) to sell off table eggs produced in excess of table demand. Where possible, these surplus eggs are sold as table eggs in other provinces where supplies are short; otherwise they are sold to processing companies as eggs for breaking. These “breaker eggs” are processed and used or sold to other companies for use as ingredients in foods such as bakery products, mayonnaise, frozen omelets, etc. To complement the IPP, several provinces administer an Egg for Processing quota, which is used to supply processing companies within a province.

Amendments to Regulations and Orders

Both quota regulations and levies order amendments need to be approved by Council members before they can be put into effect by EFC. Prior to Council members’ review, the proposed amendments must be examined by Justice Canada to ensure that EFC has the authority via the FPAA and the Agency’s Proclamation to undertake the amendments.

The amendments are then scrutinized by FPCC staff to assess the potential impact on the market for shell eggs in Canada. Council members review the amendments and the briefing material prepared by FPCC staff as well as any relevant documents sent by EFC. Using this information as well as their own knowledge and expertise, Council members either approve or decline the amendments. Council members must be satisfied that in approving EFC’s order or regulation amendment, it is both in accordance with, and necessary for the implementation of the EFC’s marketing plan as outlined in the Agency’s Proclamation. FPCC informs EFC through a transmittal letter of the decision and the rationale behind the decision taken. FPCC’s decision letters are available on its Website at http://www.fpcc-cpac.gc.ca/index.php/en-GB/complaints/decisions-and-documents.

Audit Report

As part of their obligations and in order to meet the requirement of section 29 of the FPAA, the financial transactions of EFC must be audited by an independent auditor appointed by the Governor in Council. The report of each audit must be made to EFC, FPCC and the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (Minister).

Annual Report

The annual report, as per section 30 of the FPAA, must be submitted to FPCC and the Minister within three months of the end of each fiscal year. The Minister has the power to direct EFC to report on its activities in a form and manner the Minister so decides. EFC’s annual report is then laid before the Parliament of Canada within fifteen days after receipt by the Minister or, if Parliament is not sitting, on any of the first fifteen days when Parliament resumes.

Further Information

For additional information on EFC and its activities, please go to: http://www.eggs.ca/