Alberta Chicken Producers ("ACP", one of the Supply Management governing body for Alberta's Chicken Mafia) has an interesting slide deck on trust, and building consumer confidence. Quite a contrast between the training course and what we see in this shocking video.
I suggest downloading a copy of this training course, as it may soon disappear.
If it does disappear, I have archived a copy here, as of 2013/10/22 13:30 EDT: https://www.dropbox.com/s/m3ti601il76ldz3/2013-charlie-arnot-building-public-trust.pdf
Based on this presentation, I conclude that ACP knew better.
Egg Farmers of Alberta ("EFA") is the Egg Mafia's governing body for egg producers in Alberta. Do they talk to the boys over at ACP? Did EFA have a similar policy and training program? I can't find anything to that effect on EFA's website except a press release about slow transition away from battery cage systems. If ACP knew better, then I can only assume that EFA knew better, or should have known better, but these shocking allegations come to light while under their watchful (or blindfolded) eyes.
|Egg carton crafts by EFA. |
Don't they have something more important to
do with their limited time and resources?
Once EFA has all their top priority work done (eg. animal welfare, egg prices dropping due to better productivity, etc.) everything is running well, and all risks are contained, then and only then should EFA feel free to play with their egg carton artwork all day. Prevention and ensuring of animal welfare by and for the Egg Mafia must come first and foremost.
Is EFA solely and exclusively re-arranging the deck chairs to make them pretty when they should be in the wheelhouse bridge, watching for and avoiding ice burgs? No wonder the Egg Mafia and Supply Management is sinking like the Titanic.
"I share in the public's response to the video. The images were unacceptable."— Peter Clarke, Board Chairman, Egg Farmers of Canada
as quoted by CBC News
Egg Farmers of Canada ("EFC") sets the standards and expectations on a Canada-wide basis for egg farms; or they're supposed to. Setting adequate and enforceable standards, then regular auditing to those standards is one of the three mandatory governance roles for EFC. Corrective actions and continuous improvement are the other two legs of this three legged governance stool. Did EFC do an adequate job in its important public trust?
Should everybody be held equally responsible? By that I mean all who were directly and indirectly involved (ie. EFA, EFC, ACP, the farmer who owned the quota for the accused chicken factories, and the employees who did the actions and inactions complained against)?
Let's not forget what Farm Products Council of Canada ("FPCC") was doing while all of this was going on. FPCC is supposed to be checking to make sure the overall egg supply management system is working well, and all of these other organizations (EFC, EFA, ACP, etc. ) are doing their job. Did FPCC do an adequate job of auditing and supervising their charges? Could FPCC have done differently years ago, so as to reduce the probability of this alleged abuse occurring?
If the video is real and a fair representation of events, I suggest there has been a breach of the public's trust, in addition to any civil and/or criminal charges that may soon be laid.
Trust is formed and protected by 4 factors:
- Benevolent best interest of the other party
- Open and honest communication
- Predictable behaviour
Arising from the factors affecting trust, I have some questions:
- Was there open & honest communication:
- on the farm between the workers and the farm owner?
- were all employees required to report all suspected incidents of abuse, crime, or risky behaviours by anybody on staff, suppliers, or visitors?
- between the farmer and his customers, such as McDonald's Restaurants?
- between the farmer and Egg Farmers of Alberta ("EFA")?
- EFA farm inspectors and the EFA Board?
- EFA Board and the public?
- Did they have objective evidence to back up those assurances?
- Did they know those assurances were true?
- Did they care whether those assurances were 100% fair and true, mis-leading, distracting from the true issues, or not true?
- Did they disclose their assumptions?
In time, we will learn if these allegations are true.
In the interim, I conclude there is already more than enough evidence to convict Canada's Egg Mafia and the Supply Management System for both chicken and eggs as being chronically dysfunctional, ineffective, wrong headed, costly, inefficient, an embarrassment to all Canadians, and desperately in need of immediate reform.