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Evidence of meeting #12 for Agriculture and Agri-Food in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was organic.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Richard Robert  Chair, Canadian Farm Business Management Council
Heather Watson  General Manager, Canadian Farm Business Management Council
Ted Zettel  General Manager, Organic Meadow Co-operative
Bob Seguin  Excutive Director, George Morris Centre
Johanne Van Rossum  President, Fédération des groupes conseils agricoles du Québec
Mathieu Pelletier  Management Agronomist, Réseau d'expertise en gestion agricole, Fédération des groupes conseils agricoles du Québec

5:15 p.m.

General Manager, Organic Meadow Co-operative

Ted Zettel

I'm not sure whether I have really good data on that. Our sense is that we're feeding our own people within the organic market, with about 75% coming from the U.S., mainly in the produce sector. Some of that is understandable because of our winter, but we know our export potential is not being realized to any extent at all. There is a great demand in the U.S. for our exports, but the barrier there is the lack of processing capacity on the scale it would need to be at to accommodate our lack of processing capacity.

I've worked on this in beef, in dairy, and in frozen vegetables, in trying to arrive at some sort of processing capacity that would match the acreages and numbers of heads we have available, and to be able to put it together. It's very difficult because you have to build it from the start.

5:20 p.m.

NDP

The Vice-Chair NDP Malcolm Allen

Thank you, Mr. Preston.

Mr. Eyking.

5:20 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Eyking Liberal Sydney—Victoria, NS

With all the talk of the last few days, after the Pacific meetings and the threats to supply management, whether real or not, at the end of the day, there are 15,000 farmers and the value of quotas on the table is $30 billion.

Now, we talk about business plans and what the farmers are doing, but what if the quota value became zero? How would that affect a lot of young farmers? How would it affect their bottom line? How would it affect where they go from here? Would it be a catastrophe? How would it evolve in all these business plans?

Or is the quota value even in your business plans?

5:20 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux Conservative Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Chair, can I just raise a point?

5:20 p.m.

NDP

The Vice-Chair NDP Malcolm Allen

Absolutely.

5:20 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux Conservative Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

I just want to comment that it's a hypothetical question, and the witnesses should not feel obligated to comment--

5:20 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Eyking Liberal Sydney—Victoria, NS

Oh my--

5:20 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux Conservative Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

--on a highly hypothetical question like that.

The other point I'll bring up....

Oh, forget it, Chair.

5:20 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Eyking Liberal Sydney—Victoria, NS

You're wasting my time.

5:20 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux Conservative Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

You know you don't have time, Mr. Eyking. You got it because we gave it to you.

5:20 p.m.

NDP

The Vice-Chair NDP Malcolm Allen

Order, folks. Hang on.

I had asked folks for an understanding to ask a question.

I understand what the parliamentary secretary is saying. It is a hypothetical question.

If someone wants to answer a hypothetical question, feel free to do so. If you do not wish to answer a hypothetical question, then don't. It's kind of simple.

Mr. Lemieux.

5:20 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux Conservative Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Chair, I want to follow up on this point.

The only reason we're doing an extra round is that everyone has agreed to it, but I don't think it's the kind of round we should wage war in.

Instead, if we have a topic of interest and it's a question that's useful, by all means ask it, but if we're going to get insist on getting a last shot in, no, Mr. Eyking is not entitled to a last question--

5:20 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Eyking Liberal Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Chair, he's wasting my time.

5:20 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux Conservative Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Okay. I'll move a motion to adjourn, Chair.

If that's the way you want to play it, Mark—

5:20 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Eyking Liberal Sydney—Victoria, NS

Are you scared of the truth? You're scared of the truth.

5:20 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux Conservative Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

--I'll move a motion to adjourn.

5:20 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Eyking Liberal Sydney—Victoria, NS

These people are talking about business risk management. They're talking about business plans.

5:20 p.m.

NDP

The Vice-Chair NDP Malcolm Allen

I'd like some order. Thank you.

A motion to adjourn has been put. It's non-debatable.

5:20 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Eyking Liberal Sydney—Victoria, NS

Chicken shit.

5:20 p.m.

NDP

The Vice-Chair NDP Malcolm Allen

The question now becomes a vote.

Those in favour of adjournment, please signify.

5:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

5:20 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Eyking Liberal Sydney—Victoria, NS

This is just terrible.

5:20 p.m.

NDP

The Vice-Chair NDP Malcolm Allen

The adjournment motion has carried. Thank you.

The meeting is now adjourned.