New quota lease program launches to help entrants, non-quota threshold
increasing to 200 hens
TRURO, NS, Nov. 27, 2013 /CNW/ - Nova Scotia Egg Producers (NSEP), which
regulates egg production in the province, is introducing a program that
will award selected new egg farmers with a no-cost quota lease for up
to 500 laying hens provided that they are raised in alternative housing
systems - free run, free range or certified organic.
The new entrant program, aimed at meeting increased consumer demand for
locally produced specialty eggs, includes the creation of a class of
leased quotas that will add up to 2,000 laying hens to Nova Scotia's
system of egg supply management.
Farmers who meet NSEP's eligibility requirements can enter a lottery in
order to receive leased quota for up to 500 hens per farm. These
special quotas cannot be transferred or sold and must be used to raise
hens in alternative housing. Farmers must also comply with all NSEP
programs, including food safety and animal care. If an applicant's
business plan includes selling eggs to retail or food service outlets,
the eggs must be graded at federally registered egg grading stations.
NSEP is also increasing to 200, from 100, the number of hens that
small-scale, diversified farmers are allowed to maintain without having
to obtain quotas. The increased small flock exemption is aimed at
helping family farms take advantage of market opportunities to broaden
their revenues, as well as boosting rural economies.
"Today's announcements ensure that Nova Scotians will have increased
access to a full selection of locally produced eggs using all housing
systems," says Geneve Newcombe, Chair NSEP. "These changes also
demonstrate the flexibility of supply management, the system that has
been supplying our market with local eggs and helping to maintain
family owned egg farms for more than 40 years."
As in all other provinces, NSEP uses a system of supply management to
ensure a stable supply of locally produced eggs to consumers at fair
prices while also providing farmers with a fair return. Farmers must
own quotas for the number of laying hens and must adhere to rigorous
food safety and animal welfare standards.
The introduction of leased quota is pending regulatory review and
approval. The increase in the small flock threshold has already
received approval and is now in effect.
"I am pleased with the Egg Producers' response to changing consumer
demand for egg products that use different types of production
approaches," says Agriculture Minister Keith Colwell. "I am also
pleased that the Egg Producers responded to the need for development
opportunities for small business and small farmers."
NSEP is confident that its decision to allow small-scale farmers to now
have flocks of up to 200 laying hens without the need to purchase quota
will provide an economic stimulus for both diversified farmers and
"Farming can be a tough business but our small flock of egg layers
provides us with a stable source of revenue," explains Bill Wood, a
farmer in Tatamagouche, in Colchester County. "Doubling the allowable
number of hens is a most welcome decision."
About Nova Scotia Egg Producers
Nova Scotia Egg Producers is incorporated under the Natural Products Act
for Nova Scotia. The act gives NSEP the mandate to promote, control and
regulate the production of eggs and pullets in the province. It uses a
supply management system to provide a stable supply of locally produced
eggs to consumers at fair prices while also ensuring farmers receive
SOURCE: Nova Scotia Egg Producers
For further information:
Chair, Nova Scotia Egg Producers