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The Turkey Farmers of Canada (TFC) is the National Agency responsible for the orderly production and marketing of turkeys and turkey meat in Canada. Legally known as the Canadian Turkey Marketing Agency, TFC was proclaimed in 1974, pursuant to subsection 16(1) of the Farm Products Marketing Agencies Act (legally known as the Farm Products Agencies Act (FPAA) since 1993) and a federal-provincial agreement between the federal agriculture minister, provincial agriculture ministers (in Alberta and Quebec, the Ministers of Intergovernmental Affairs are also signatories), Farm Products Council of Canada, provincial supervisory boards, turkey producers in member provinces, and TFC.
TFC Board of Directors and Structure
TFC has a total of 12 directors, which includes the Chair, who is elected amongst TFC membership. There are eight provincial members: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Each elects a representative to the Agencyâ€™s Board of Directors. The Canadian Turkey Marketing Agency Proclamation was amended by the Federal Government in 1996 to allow for three representatives from turkey industry stakeholders: two named by the Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors Council representing primary processors; and one, by the Further Poultry Processors Association of Canada representing companies which use turkey as an ingredient in their products.
TFCâ€™s Role, Responsibilities and Objects
TFCâ€™s objects are listed in section 21 of the FPAA:
- to promote a strong, efficient and competitive production and marketing industry for the regulated product or products in relation to which it may exercise its powers; and
- to have due regard to the interests of producers and consumers of the regulated product or products.
TFCâ€™s Board of Directors meets, at least quarterly, to plan and manage turkey production and marketing. This mainly involves setting or adjusting production quota, and setting an annual levy to defray the administrative, marketing, and other costs and expenses deemed essential by the Agency for the realization of its objects. This levy is included in the price that consumers pay for turkey.
Quota allocation (the regulation is called Canadian Turkey Marketing Quota Regulations, 1990) covers production over a control period that runs from around May 1 to April 30. This control period is designed to bridge calendar years to include planning of production for the peak festive markets of Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. TFC administers four quota allocation policies:
- National Commercial Allocation Policy: two separate quotas, one for turkey meat production from whole birds; and another from birds produced for further processing, whose meat is used as an ingredient in other products.
- Export Policy: quota allocated to replace turkey meat from birds already exported, and to allow sufficient production to cover planned exports of processed, further processed or live turkey.
- Multiplier Breeder Policy: quota for mature turkey resulting from birds that are needed to produce turkey eggs and poults for the industry.
- Primary Breeder Policy: quota of turkey meat from birds marketed as primary breeding stock.
TFCâ€™s levies order (the Canada Turkey Marketing Producers Levy Order) is expressed in cents per kilogram and is set during the Agency November meeting and is derived out of the annual budget for the upcoming year.
Amendments to Regulations and Orders
Both quota regulations and levies order amendments need to be approved by Council members before they can be put into effect by TFC. Prior to Council membersâ€™ review of the proposed amendments, the amendments must be examined by Justice Canada to ensure that TFC has the authority via the FPAA and the Agencyâ€™s Proclamation to undertake the amendments.
The amendments are then scrutinized by FPCC staff to assess the potential impact on the market for turkey meat in Canada. Council members review the proposed amendments and the briefing material prepared by FPCC staff as well as any relevant documents sent by TFC. Using this information as well as their own knowledge and expertise, Council members either approve or decline the amendments. Council members must be satisfied that in approving TFCâ€™s order or regulation amendments, it is both in accordance with, and necessary for the implementation of TFCâ€™s marketing plan as outlined in the Agencyâ€™s Proclamation. FPCC informs TFC through a transmittal letter of the decision and the rationale behind the decision taken. FPCCâ€™s decision letters are available on its Website.
As part of their obligations and in order to meet the requirement section 29 of the FPAA, the financial transactions of TFC must be audited by an independent auditor appointed by the Governor in Council. The report of each audit must be made to TFC, FPCC and the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (Minister).
The annual report, as per section 30 of the FPAA, must be submitted to FPCC and the Minister within three months of the end of each fiscal year. The Minister has the power to direct TFC to report on its activities in a form and manner the Minister so decides. TFCâ€™s annual report will be laid before the Parliament of Canada within fifteen days after receipt by the Minister or, if Parliament is not sitting, on any of the first fifteen days when Parliament resumes.
For additional information on TFC and its activities, please go to:www.turkeyfarmersofcanada.ca