ST. FRANCOIS-DE-MADAWASKA, NB, June 10, 2011 /CNW/ - Nadeau Poultry
today announced that it will continue to actively pursue a solution to
the chicken supply management crisis in New Brunswick, through a
heightened appeal to the provincial government and now the public.
"Our battle to protect a safe and secure chicken food supply in New
Brunswick - and secure local jobs based on 50 years of history in the
St. Francois community - is by no means over," says Yves Landry,
General Manager and 34-year employee with family-owned Nadeau Poultry.
On the heels of a failed appeal to the Federal Court of Appeal, Nadeau
Poultry will now re-focus its attention on convincing the New Brunswick
government to resume regulation of the province's poultry supply
management sector. The provincial government has consistently
maintained that they lack the legislative power to do so even though
each and every other province in Canada has, in similar circumstances,
upheld their supply management regulatory function in the interests of
farmers, processors and ultimately, consumers.
Nadeau Poultry is reviewing the recent court decision and considering
its options, including the possibility of seeking leave to appeal to
the Supreme Court of Canada.
Nadeau Poultry was forced to lay off almost half of its workers in 2009
when Groupe Westco, having managed to gain a monopoly over almost 80
per cent of province's chicken, decided to divert the chickens to their
Quebec-based partner for processing. This proved devastating for
Nadeau Poultry, who was left without a stable alternate supply, given
the amount of chicken allowed to be grown in each province is capped
through a nationally controlled supply management system.
Landry says the New Brunswick government failed on three fronts. First,
it allowed Groupe Westco to gain a monopoly over almost 80 per cent of
New Brunswick chickens despite regulations limiting control to
approximately 10 per cent of the provincial quota for any one producer.
Secondly, they failed to intervene when Groupe Westco started diverting
these chickens to Quebec for processing, causing the loss of 165 jobs
at Nadeau and economic devastation in St. François. Finally, they have
refused to implement any of the solutions used in other provinces to
ensure supply management stability.
"The government has essentially abandoned the St. François community and
Nadeau Poultry," says Landry, "despite the company's commitment to the
community for more than 50 years."
Former Federal Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Lyle Vanclief, says the
recent federal court decision and New Brunswick's refusal to stabilize
supply management does not bode well for the future of supply
management in New Brunswick and possibly in Canada.
"Supply management protects our domestic food security, ensuring
accessibility of product at a reasonable cost and with the quality we
want for our milk, poultry and other commodities," says Vanclief.
However, for the system to work, the interests of all players have to be
balanced and protected, he said. "That's because supply management is
like a three-legged stool - producers, processors and consumers all
have to be treated fairly. When one leg is broken, there is no
stability. That's what is happening in New Brunswick.
"Without supply management," adds Vanclief, "Canada could quickly become
a country reliant on cheap imports that could put health, environment
and Canada's food sovereignty at risk."
Nadeau proposed multiple solutions to the government that would ensure,
as intended in legislation, that all processors in the province have a
predictable share of New Brunswick-grown chickens. Fair allocation is
an essential part of the system and is observed in supply-managed
sectors in every other province.
"The recent Court of Appeal decision clearly puts the ball back in the
provincial government's court," adds Landry. "And that's where it
should be given that regulating supply management is a provincial
Landry pointed out that when supply management is functioning as
intended, a producer would never be able to put a processor out of
business. "But that is just what Groupe Westco intended when it sent
the chickens and our jobs to Quebec," says Landry. "And the New
Brunswick government, as a result of inaction, is helping them do just
Despite the fact that at a federal level, Canada continues to stand firm
on supply management, New Brunswick Premier David Alward - a staunch
defender of supply management at the Doha round of talks in Hong Kong
in 2005, a former Minister of Agriculture and a farmer himself - and
his government have so far not responded to Nadeau's repeated requests
for meetings to further discuss the supply management crisis.
Nadeau Poultry is launching a website to build awareness of the issue
and its impact on New Brunswick's poultry processing sector, jobs, the
long-term implications for supply management in Canada and the threat
to Canada's food safety and sovereignty.
To find out why you should care about New Brunswick's refusal to
regulate supply management, visit: www.nadeaupoultry.com
About Nadeau Poultry
Located in St. François-de-Madawaska, N.B., Nadeau Poultry is proud to
operate a family-owned, modern chicken processing and packaging
facility, providing Canadian families with healthy, wholesome chicken
for their dinner tables for more than 50 years. As part of the Maple
Lodge Farms family, Nadeau Poultry has been named one of the Top 50
Best Managed Companies for 2010.
SOURCE Nadeau Poultry
For further information:
General Manager, Nadeau Poultry