Not since the avian influenza crises in British Columbia in 2004 has the CFC faced such a challenging time to accurately supply the marketplace as we have had to do recently. The A-163 and A-164 allocations that were done on February 5, 2020 had to be adjusted in April. This was also our last in-person meeting. It has been all zoom meetings since but hopefully for not too long.
A-163 was adjusted -7.5% under the February 5 allocation for western Canada and -15% for central and eastern Canada. This was because processor markets are significantly different in western Canada than in the east and Covid-19 impacts on chicken processing were different. The timing of this adjustment was far from ideal because growers in the first part of A-163 had already had their placements in the barns whereas growers in mid to later cycle faced chick placement cutbacks of 5, 10 or 15%.
The A-164 (July & August) allocation also was initially set at -7.5% for western Canada but upon a planned review half way into the cycle, the number was reduced to -6.25% because markets began to rebound. Allocation for central and eastern Canada was initially -12.6% but reduced to -11.35% for the second half.
The CFS Board is keenly aware of the discrepancy of the A-163 and A-164 production among our growers and is working to find an equitable solution for all.
There also needs to be a carefully managed and non-disruptive repayment plan worked out between the western provinces and the rest of Canada for the regional allocation differences in A-163 and A-164. Discussions on this have already begun at CFC and the implementation will likely be over a longer period of time.
A-165 (September & October) was set this past week with one national number for all of Canada. Markets are improving as the provincial economies continue to reopen and so allocation was set at -2%.
It has been a most challenging time trying to manage the supply of chicken across Canada such that all Canadians have access to chicken and all stakeholders in the supply chain are kept as whole as possible.
The category III antibiotics issue has been temporarily put on hold. It was to have been dealt with on June 2nd but it is now scheduled for mid-August, 2020.