IKEA unveils new chicken policies Another global retail giant has come out with new chicken policies. IKEA unveiled the Better Chicken Program in January, which identifies the company’s minimum sourcing standards for all broiler chicken products in its global supply chain. The company will soon begin piloting the criteria, which covers animal welfare, antibiotics use and sustainability, with its suppliers to work through practical considerations. By 2025, IKEA says all chicken products it sources will be consistent with Better Chicken principles. Alltech opens applications for new training program The recently announced Alltech North American Career Development Program (CDP) is a one-year salaried, entry-level program providing up to 12 recent university graduates the opportunity to train alongside experienced professionals. After an induction period at Alltech’s international headquarters in Kentucky, trainees will be assigned to specific locations in the U.S. or Canada to prepare for sales positions. Ending supply management would mean huge job losses According to a new study, using supply management as a bargaining chip for the renewal of NAFTA could have serious economic and social impacts. The PwC Canada report indicates that between 58,000 and 80,000 Canadian jobs would be threatened if supply management disappeared. Associated market share losses would translate into a decrease in Canadian GDP ranging from $4.6 to $6.3 billion. Egg sustainability expert wins prestigious award As a leading sustainability expert, Dr. Nathan Pelletier has been awarded an Industrial Research Chair by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). The award will advance Pelletier’s research activities focused on sustainability measurement and management, lifecycle thinking and resource efficiency, with a focus on the Canadian egg industry. Pelletier has collaborated with Egg Farmers of Canada (EFC) since 2016 as their Research Chair in Sustainability, exploring opportunities to improve resource efficiencies and reduce the environmental impact of egg supply chains. “Food systems sustainability is a subject of increasing importance. Egg Farmers of Canada strives to promote innovation and the continuous improvement of egg production through the latest scientific research,” EFC’s CEO Tim Lambert said in a press release. “Dr. Pelletier’s work helps us understand the link between environmental sustainability and egg production, while developing processes and technologies with environmental and social impacts in mind.” Only a handful of researchers are awarded an Industrial Research Chair from NSERC each year. NSERC’s support will allow for Pelletier to grow his research program as the first-ever NSERC/ Egg Farmers of Canada Industrial Research Chair in Sustainability. He has spent roughly a decade researching the science of sustainability. “I am passionate about the development of food systems that are environmentally sustainable, economically viable and that contribute to our health and well-being,” Pelletier said. 5 QUESTIONS FOR MARYN MCKENNA Big Chicken was published in 2017. The critically acclaimed book is described as an “eye-opening exposé”. In it, celebrated health journalist Maryn McKenna documents “how antibiotics transformed chicken from local delicacy to industrial commodity – and human health threat – uncovering the ways we can make America’s favorite meat safer again.” We asked her five questions. What is your book about, in a nutshell? Big Chicken is an investigation of the rise of routine subtherapeutic antibiotic use in livestock raising – how it emerged amongst post-World War II concerns about feeding the world, how different countries have evaluated and regulated it differently and how it contributes to the international epidemic of antibiotic resistance – wrapped in the story of the rise of modern poultry production. Chickens were the first animals to get growth-promoter antibiotics experimentally, and in the U.S. they are the first livestock sector to renounce antibiotics, so they are crucial to the story. What inspired you to write it? A few years ago, I was working on another book about antibiotic resistance (Superbug, in 2010) and stumbled across a statistic that, in the United States, four times as many antibiotics are sold for use in livestock as in humans. That surprised me, and surprised me even more when I learned that most of those antibiotics are not given to cure infections – which, in human medicine, would be considered inappropriate use, leading to resistance. I wanted to know more. What is the most surprising or important thing you learned? It’s fascinating to me that almost everyone involved in this practice, at the start, had good intentions: feeding the world; making protein inexpensive; saving the infrastructure of meat agriculture from the damage of World War II. They didn’t anticipate the unintended consequences. How have chicken farmers and those outside agriculture reacted to the book? To be clear, there are chicken farmers in the book, including conventional large-scale farmers who have gone antibiotic-free because their integrators did – and there are more than a dozen conventional farmers whom I visited who did not appear in the book. This book is the product of four years of on-the-ground reporting, as well as deep dives into archives. Farmers have said they were represented fairly. I have received no industry criticism. And the book has gotten a lot of media coverage, and everyday readers have reacted with a lot of enthusiasm. This is a change people have been waiting for. What would you like to see the industry change? The success of big producers such as Perdue, which led the U.S. industry in going antibiotic- free in 2014, makes it clear that even very large-scale poultry production can succeed without routine antibiotic use. Given that evidence, there is no excuse for poultry production, or any protein production really, to continue to misuse antibiotics. Coming Events FEBRUARY 2018 FEB. 28 - MAR. 2, 2018 B.C. Poultry Conference 2018 Vancouver, B.C. bcpoultryconference.ca MARCH 2018 MAR. 13 - 15, 2018 Midwest Poultry Federation Convention Minneapolis, Minn. midwestpoultry.com MAR. 24, 2018 PIC Raising Backyard Chickens Guelph, Ont. poultryindustrycouncil.ca APRIL 2018 APR. 4 - 5, 2018 National Poultry Show (Formerly London Poultry Show) London, Ont. westernfairdistrict.com poultryindustrycouncil.ca APR. 8 - 10, 2018 IEC Business Conference London, England internationalegg.com Apr. 12, 2018 PIC Ag Lenders Day, Guelph, Ont. poultryindustrycouncil.ca Apr. 16 - 18, 2018 Western Poultry Disease Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah cevs.ucdavis.edu/confreg MAY 2018 May 2, 2018 PIC Research Day, Stratford, Ont. poultryindustrycouncil.ca May 15, 2018 WestVet, Abbotsford, B.C. westvet.com
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