Ont. egg farmers pick first quota loan recipient

A new program to lend startup quota to would-be egg farmers in Ontario has named its first successful applicants.

Egg Farmers of Ontario on Tuesday announced Michael and Gwen Van Gurp of Norwich, about 50 km east of London, as the recipients of quota from its New Entrant Quota Loan Pool program for 2011.

"We had to consider the best fit amongst the eligible applicants, across a wide range of variables," said Laurent Souligny, chair of the selection committee that chose the Van Gurps from a pool of 84 eligible applicants.

"It was quite a challenge to select only one individual from such a high-calibre group of people."

EFO’s program, announced in April this year for a May 31 application deadline, provides 50,000 units of egg production quota to be loaned to first-time producers over a 10-year period.

After 10 years, a program participant would return his or her loaned quota to the program in five instalments of 20 per cent each.

Applicants to the quota loan pool must be permanent residents of Ontario and have either Canadian citizenship or landed immigrant status. Priority under the program goes to applicants between ages 18 and 45.

Applicants also must not yet hold or have ever held quota in any of Canada’s supply-managed sectors, be it eggs, pullets, chickens, turkeys, hatching eggs or dairy.

The successful applicant has to be able to buy quota based on a 1:2 ratio, which means the Van Gurps will have to buy one unit of quota outright for every two units loaned through the program.

The successful applicant also has to be ready to start production within 18 months of being selected.

EFO chair Carolynne Griffith reiterated that the program, which will now take place annually, is meant to ensure "constant renewal of the egg industry and foster the opportunity for individuals to join the Ontario egg industry."

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