The Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan

 

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Saskatchewan Egg Producers (SEP)

The SEP is a supply management marketing board created pursuant to the Saskatchewan Agri-Food Act. The objective of the SEP, like other supply management boards, is to stabilize and support producer incomes, and to deliver a reliable supply of quality product to consumers at reasonable prices. Over the past three decades, supply management has proven itself to be a successful agricultural stabilization policy. The SEP was established in 1969. Together with similar egg boards in every other province, it participated in 1972 and 1976 in the establishment of Canada’s national supply management system for eggs, operated by the Canadian Egg Marketing Agency (CEMA).

The SEP and the CEMA regulate three components of the egg market. First, imports of eggs and egg products are held to roughly historic levels. Second, prices paid to producers are stabilized and supported at minimum levels, reflecting a fair assessment of the producer’s cost of production. Third, Canadian production is targeted to meet domestic market requirements. Saskatchewan generates approximately 4.5% of Canada’s egg production. Within Saskatchewan, the SEP regulates the production and marketing of eggs by virtue of its mandate derived from the Agri-Food Act: this includes managing the disposal of egg surplus to table requirements by shipping these eggs to processing plants for breaking, pasteurization, and delivery to industrial markets. Approximately seventy producers in Saskatchewan generated 20.8 million dozen eggs (gradings) in 2003.

The SEP supports CEMA’s on-farm food safety and biosecurity program: known as the “Start Clean Stay Clean” program, it sets standards of production and management for every aspect of an egg operation in order to minimize the risks of food contamination. Every producer is scored on fulfillment of these standards. The SEP also supports CEMA’s guidelines for appropriate handling of livestock, which are specified in its manual known as Recommended Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pullets, Layers and Spent Fowl. This manual is endorsed by the Canadian Agri-Food Research Council.

Michael Katz

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