Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 8, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
24 THE LETHBRIDQE HERALD TuMday, October 8, 1974 Low competition locally 'edges poultry price Gov't documents law revision sought By RIG SWIHART Herald Staff Writer EDMONTON Less com- petition at the retail level in Lethbridge has been blamed for local poultry prices being higher than in either Ed- monton or Calgary. Don Potter, secretary for the Alberta Broiler Growers' Marketing Board in Edmon- ton, told The Herald in a re- cent interview here, poultry prices in Lethbridge have been about 10 cents per pound higher than both of Alberta's largest cities. The price differential is es- pecially true for turkey, he said. The broiler marketing board, combined with the Alberta Turkey Growers' Marketing Board, controls all marketings of poultry in Alberta through regular processing channels. The boards also set the minimum price producers are to receive for their birds. INFLUENCE But prices for poultry in other parts of North America have an influence on the price producers receive for their birds in Alberta. Mr. Potter said the returns for chicken were reduced one cent per pound to 35 cents per pound liveweight to combat cheaper product that was threatening to come into this province from another production area. Whole chicken in a bag dresses out at about 70 per cent of the live weight, boosting the cost of the saleable bird to processors to 46.66 cents per pound. Processing costs of about 16 cents a pound push the cost of the bird to about 62.5 cents per pound. Producers are paid their 35 cents a pound live weight on all the birds they deliver to the processor. But of this total, 12 to 17 per cent of the birds will be graded utility and won't bring the best price in the market. A utility bird is one which has had a bruised area cut out or has a leg or wing missing. The bird is safe for eating from a health viewpoint but it isn't the perfectly formed product. Mr. Potter said the utility factor adds another one cent per pound to the total cost of chicken. The final figure from this mathematical exercize is about 63.5 cents per pound, roughly what the wholesale price should be to large chain stores. This wholesale price will naturally be higher for smaller outlets which can't sell the product in quantity, said Mr. Potter. The actual wholesale selling price for poultry isn't available to the general public, remaining a closed secret among the poultry processing fraternity. But as with all other products, the price a producer receives becomes closely associated with supply and de- mand of that product. This is where the ad- ministration of the marketing boards for chicken (broilers) and turkey comes in, said Mr. Potter. "We have to try to match production with con- sumption." If poultry is under produced, causing a shortage, product will enter Alberta from another area. If there is an oversupply of poultry, some product will have to be put into storage, depressing the price producers receive because supply would outstrip demand. Mr. Potter prides his association with the broiler marketing board, boasting it is perhaps the best system for supply management in this country. BROILER PRODUCTION During the past few years, broiler production has been kept to within about 1.5 per cent of projected consumption and has resulted in good returns to producers. The broiler marketing board controls the production through a rigid quota system for all of the 120 producers in the province. Each week, the eight major hatcheries in Alberta send a detailed list of all birds placed in all farms in the province. Each producer has a set quota he is allowed to produce in each of five cycles each year. The year is broken into five cycles because the growth to market period for chicken is about 13 weeks. A producer can fill his quota five times C ARE E R S REQUIRED IMMEDIATELY TWO BAR PERSONS to include: Tapping Kegs, alto to Mix Cocktails. ONECOOK Union Wages Apply in Person to the MANAGER Elks Club of Lethbridge RESTAURANT MANAGER Required for Lethbridge location. Must have minimum two years experience as a manager of a successful restaurant. Liberal salary and bonus program. Replies held in strict confidence. SMITTY'S PANCAKE HOUSES LTD. Ste. 8th Avsniw S.W. Calgary, Alberta Phons 263-5683 per year to give him five marketing periods in one year. Depending on the supply of product already on the market, the marketing board can control a buildup or deple- tion by setting a higher or lower per cent _of quota production which will be allowed in any of the five cycles. NOI.'MAL QUOTA If' the supply is low, producers may be able to grow say 110 per cent of his normal quota. But the figure can easily drop to 90 per cent also. Through this system, the marketing board knows exact- ly how many birds have entered the production chain and therefore, how much product will be marketed. On the price setting side of the marketing board, an ad- visory committee gives guidance to the board. Includ- ed on the committee are three broiler growers, two processors, a feed manufac- turer, a hatching egg shipper, a hatchery official and con- sumer representative. The committee, together with five marketing board members, set the minimum liveweight price producers will receive. All birds sold to the processor are based on Grade A condition. Mr. Potter credits a close association between all in- dustry sectors for the success of the broiler marketing board. Unlike chicken, turkey production must be geared one year in advance because of the longer time to get a turkey ready for the market. Market supplies can't be easi- ly regulated. Because turkey can move easily and cheaply across Canada, 100 per cent manage- ment of the product in Alberta wouldn't necessarily mean a smooth road for turkey producers, said Mr. Potter. TURKEY INDUSTRY That is the reason the turkey industry has entered a national marketing scheme. Initially the scheme was voluntary, involving the six provinces from British Columbia to Quebec. It was called the National Turkey Co_ ordinating Committee. But in 1973, the federal government pushed Nova Scotia into the planned marketing system which had evolved into the National Turkey Marketing Agency. Then in 1974, New Brunswick entered the marketing picture. Because Nova Scotia and New Brunswick produce less than two per cent of the national turkey total, par- ticipation in the national marketing agency was not needed and was in fact a cost burden to all turkey producers, said Mr. Potter. Fire damages residence Fire caused extensive damage to a home in North Lethbridge. The residence at 33312th St A N. is owned by Aldo Vercillo of 326D 10th St. N. Two City of Lethbridge fire trucks responded to the call this morning and the blaze was ex- tinguished in about 10 minutes. No one was injured. An electircal fault is thought to have caused the blaze. NEED EXTRA CASH? Choose your own hours Part time or full time Male or temale, age open Variety of positions available No experience necessary Free training Enjoj .wring pKMie tn r.imfnl. li riocni I'1 in v.ix piomplH ,m.l ircmh mf.-uli'in whn.li c.ui-c ulk-.iil CT of luiiipnlTiuK. most inipon.ini ]3 OT Acm.nl w.i-. m.iinl.iij'icil in 11 Omimeni iv illi ,1 conlmucil mcr.i reii'iJ of monlhx unbcnnmc, or jour monc> nude on vnli wide of lien Preparation your children depend on your VOTE OCTOBER 16 Vote as you please on October 16th, but know for whom you're voting. Know their stand on issues that are important to you. Know that for the next three years they will be spending millions of dollars of public money, deciding on how and what your children learn. Those elected will influence decisions on hours, bussing, buildings, salaries, curriculum, maintenance, holidays. A very important job. A very important decision for you. Go ahead. Get involved. Make your decision. Then please get out and vote on October 16th. xllbcrta This message is published by the Government of Alberta in the interest of good local government.