P.E.I. egg producers and chicken farmers promised $2M over Pacific trade deal

·1 min read
The money could help affected producers convert a chicken barn to a free-run system as markets evolve, says the general manager of Egg Farmers P.E.I. (CBC - image credit)
The money could help affected producers convert a chicken barn to a free-run system as markets evolve, says the general manager of Egg Farmers P.E.I. (CBC - image credit)

A federal compensation deal for Canadian poultry farmers announced earlier this week, connected to the new Pacific trade deal, includes about $2 million for P.E.I. producers.

The package included $347.3 million for Canadian chicken farmers and $134 million for egg producers. The money will be distributed across the country in proportion to the quota held by local farmers.

The $2 million earmarked for P.E.I. will be shared among about 15 farmers who hold national chicken or egg quota.

The compensation is for quota given up during trade negotiations with other member countries of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Janet Hilliard-Murphy, general manager of Chicken Farmers of P.E.I., said farmers appreciate that the federal government acknowledges the impact of trade agreements on farmers.

"They recognize that damage can be done or is done to some of the markets. In recognizing that they've tried to mitigate the damage done by putting these support programs out," said Hilliard-Murphy.

Making improvements

The money is targeted toward farm improvements, with costs being shared between the farmer and federal government.

Mike Cummiskey, general manager of Egg Farmers P.E.I., said the money could go to expansion or renovations to barns.

"[Farmers could] change from their existing housing type to a new housing system — an enriched system or a free-run system for the birds — new ventilation systems, new watering systems or whatever to improve the productivity of the production on the farm," said Cummiskey.

The program includes money for marketing Canadian poultry, which will be handled nationally. In total the compensation package is worth more than $691 million over 10 years.

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