Good afternoon. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to thank everybody for inviting us here today to be part of your study on a food policy for Canada.
My name is Roger Pelissero. I am a third-generation egg farmer from St. Ann's, Ontario, and I'm also the chair of the board for the Egg Farmers of Canada. With me today is Mr. Tim Lambert, CEO of Egg Farmers of Canada.
As we all know, the world's population is estimated to grow to 9.6 billion people by 2050, requiring a 70% increase in global food production. It is our belief that this impending population growth makes safe, secure domestic food production even more pressing, and the Canadian egg industry is a success story in that regard. We are an industry equipped to not only meet today's domestic demands for a fresh, nutritious food; we also aim to grow our industry alongside increasing consumer demand for our product, the humble egg.
I am proud to be here today representing Canada's more than 1,000 family egg farms across this country. Our decades of expertise as a food-producing industry lead us to believe that a national food policy must begin with evidence-based research. This allows us to benchmark progress with reliable metrics rather than perception.
Canadian eggs are produced in all 10 provinces and in the Northwest Territories. They are, by nature, best produced locally and consumed fresh. They are also one of the most affordable sources of high-quality protein you can buy. To put it in perspective, a dozen eggs costs less than the price of a latte. Further to this, every Canadian egg farmer is committed to continuous improvements in food safety and animal welfare. We do this through our national programs that hold our members to a common set of standards. We run these programs so that we can offer Canadians a firm guarantee: that their eggs are fresh, healthy, and safe, and produced on family farms that are held to the highest standards.
To ensure that our industry continues to thrive for generations to come, it is our hope that the theme “growing more high-quality food” remains at the forefront of the food policy for Canada discussion and that farmers remain engaged in that process. Dialogue focused on expanding Canada's agriculture sector by supporting primary producers is a critical concept in the long-term vision to enhance Canada's food system. As the government looks to increase availability of high-quality food domestically and internationally, it is important to maintain support for domestic policies like supply management that offer a secure food supply, and support to young people willing to take on a career in agriculture. Your support in these areas offers stability to farmers who reinvest in their operations and in their industry.
One example of this investment is environmental sustainability. The transition to a greener economy is accelerating fast, and the same principles hold true for farming. Thanks to the stability of supply management, egg farmers have seized the opportunity to take a leading role in preserving the environment, by producing more with less. In fact, over the the last 50 years, Canada's egg industry has sliced its environmental footprint by half and at the same time doubled its production.
As the government continues to bolster practices that conserve soil, water, and air, egg farmers are investing in research that will identify further opportunities to make egg farming more environmentally sound. Canadian egg farmers are proud to provide the constant supply of fresh, local, and high-quality eggs that Canadians want to buy and enjoy, and look forward to working with you to build and expand a food policy for Canada that truly works.