Facts on Alberta's Egg IndustryNote: Unless otherwise indicated, the information here relates only to the registered egg industry/producers, i.e., those egg production units which have more than 300 layer hens.
The Egg Industry - How It Works
Alberta's egg industry operates under the provincial Marketing of Agricultural Products Act, the Egg Farmers of Alberta Plan Regulation (AR 258/97) and the Egg Farmers of Alberta Egg Production and Marketing Regulation 293/97, which is supervised by the Alberta Agricultural Products Marketing Council, a government agency charged with overseeing all agricultural marketing boards and commissions in Alberta.
Egg producers in Alberta fall into one of two categories -unregistered (i.e. egg producers with 300 or fewer layer hens) or registered (i.e. egg producers with more than 300 layer hens and as such, come under a system having extensive checks and balances in place to ensure only the safest and highest quality eggs reach consumers). Egg producers in Canada are global leaders with their HACCP-based, on-farm health and safety practices. As a result, Canadian eggs are considered to be some of the safest in the world.
Registered egg producers must have quota. Quota can be purchased or leased by any Canadian. Quota transactions are done directly between the two interested parties - i.e. the buyer/lessee and the seller/lessor. The Alberta Egg Producers maintains an ongoing list of buyers/lessees and sellers/lessors to help link those wanting to buy or lease quota with those who have quota available for sale or lease.
The Egg Farmers of Alberta, established in 1968, is a board representing the 155 registered egg producers in Alberta. It carries out the administration of the Plan and Regulations.
Under the Act and Regulations, all Alberta egg producers, unregistered and registered, are allowed to produce whatever type(s) of eggs they wish. That is, they can produce conventional eggs, specialty eggs (e.g. organic, omega-3, free range), or a combination of both. It is the responsibility of the individual egg producer to keep abreast of consumer trends/preferences and produce the type of eggs to meet the needs of the marketplace. At present, Alberta's egg industry has producers in both the registered and unregistered systems who produce eggs for the regular and specialty egg markets - demonstrating the flexibility of the Act and Plan to accommodate different types of egg production.
The Egg Farmers of Alberta works in close partnership with the Egg Farmers of Canada who manages the national marketing system of eggs, ensuring Canadians' need for eggs are met. As well, the Egg Farmers of Alberta works closely with many other affiliated organizations/groups, including Alberta Agriculture & Rural Development, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Alberta SPCA and many others.
The marketing system under which the egg industry (as well as chicken, dairy and turkey industries) in Canada operate is called supply management.
For more information about egg production or the egg industry, please contact:
Marketing and Communications Manager