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Chicken producers pleased with specialty quota ruling

Both sides of the issue say they feel fairly treated

The controversy over Manitoba Chicken Producers’ (MCP) new annual specialty quota program has been resolved with both sides satisfied they were treated fairly by a ruling from the Manitoba Farm Producers Marketing Council (MFPMC).

In a ruling in early July the council told MPC to postpone charging administrative fees for 10 years among those participating in the program, recognizing the financial impact the additional fees would have on existing participants. At the same time its ruling stated support for MPC’s move to adopt new policy seeing a need to modernize and update the manner in which chicken is regulated.

The specialty quota program was launched January 1, 2017 to improve opportunities for small-scale farmers to meet new consumer demands for different types of meat chickens, but raised many questions about the impact it would have on those raising specialty chicken.

Direct Farm Manitoba said it was pleased with the ruling and said earlier this month it felt the MFPMC had heard its main concerns.

In a statement released July 17 the chicken producers also said their organization was pleased with MFPMC’s decision because, aside from ordering the administrative fees be postponed, it showed support for their new program and acknowledged the need for making changes to deal with marketing challenges in a changing industry.

“We believe the decision is fair and reasonable,” said Wayne Hiltz, executive director of MCP in the statement.

“Allowing the Annual Specialty Quote Program to continue means more choices for consumers and more options for farmers.”

About the author

Reporter

Lorraine Stevenson is a reporter and photographer for the Manitoba Co-operator with 25 years experience writing news and features. She was previously a reporter with the Farmers Independent Weekly and has also written for community newspapers in Winnipeg and Manitoba's Interlake.

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