Feathers Fly in N.B. Poultry Flap


SAINT-FRANÇOIS-DE-MADAWASKA, N.B. — There are strong words flying in New Brunswick as the Saint-François-de-Madawaska-based Nadeau Poultry says its competitor, Groupe Westco, also based in the town, has been unfairly subverting the supply management system by sending its chickens to Quebec for processing, instead of Nadeau’s local facility.

Yves Landry, Nadeau general manager blames the provincial government for the commercial dispute. “We urged the government to take action and implement any number of possible stabilizing solutions. Without a remedy, it was clear the province’s poultry supply management system would no longer function. If the spirit and intent of the legislation were monitored and regulated as it is in other provinces in Canada, the current situation would never have occurred,” says Landry.

According to Landry, the fundamental cause of the problem stems from previous New Brunswick governments turning a blind eye as limits were removed on the amount of the province’s chicken production quota that could be held by any single producer. Historically, Landry says, a producer was restricted from controlling more than 10 per cent of the product. Groupe Westco, Landry insists, has built a production capability, which today controls almost 80 per cent of the commodity.

Since September 2009, Groupe Westco has diverted the chickens it controls to its partner Olymel in Quebec for processing. “After ignoring the issue while it was happening, the government now continues to sidestep it and refuses to intervene,” says Landry. “By doing so, they are rewarding Westco’s very questionable business practices in attempting to starve Nadeau of chickens.”

Despite the insistence of Nadeau Poultry, in 2009, Canada’s Competition Tribunal ruled it was not mandatory for Westco to sell its chickens to Nadeau for processing.


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