Saturday, November 2, 2013

Is CFC self-funded, or a calculated lie to the public?

CFC's claim of being self-funded:  Is it true,  or a calculated lie to the public?
"Chicken Farmers of Canada (CFC) is a national organization, funded completely through farmer levies paid according to the amount of chicken marketed."
 CFC's Website as of 2013/11/2 11:30 EDT.

Really, CFC?

Every last penny comes from your levies paid by farmers?

I remembered reading something that seemed to conflict with CFC's broad, universal funding statement.  For example, a Better Farming Magazine article posted July 25, 2012 seems to conflict:
"Earlier in the week, the federal government gave the CFC $72,500 which will be used to finance an audit of its on-farm food safety program."
Sometimes the government promises things, but never gets around to delivering.  Did CFC actually receive that $72,500 or some other amount from the Federal Government?  If they did, that would seem to go against CFC's statement on their website.

Anybody can walk into your bank and deposit money into your account without permission.  Did the Feds deposit money into CFC's account, then put out a press release about what they had done, and the hapless CFC did nothing to cause or encourage this dastardly deed by the Feds?  Did the CFC refuse the monies gifted, and sent them back?

Not to draw any simularities, but what should somebody do if the Hell's Angels deposited $72,500 into somebody's personal bank account?  It would be the truly naive person who would think there are no strings attached to that money, that the Hell's Angels don't want their money back, or don't want something in return, and they were free to spend it as they pleased.  Even so, it would be a lie thereafter to say they had no funding except for their employer's pay cheque.

Did the CFC make an application and request these funds from the government? website has a July 30, 2012 posting that supplies a little bit more info on this funding issue.  They say:

"The announcement was made at their annual summer meeting held in Winnipeg, with MP James Bezan making the announcement on behalf of the government. The funding was made possible by the Growing Forward policy framework through the Canadian Integrated Safety Initiative."
So it appears that CFC made an application, was approved, and was promised the money.  Did they ever receive it?  Since it is connected to a specific government program, it is likely that CFC did receive the funding.  If that is true, CFC's website would seem to be false and mis-leading.

Perhaps CFC forgot to update their website, or just haven't around to doing it yet.  CFC's web page has a 2013 copyright on it, so it was created at least 6 months after the funding announcement.  This would seem to be enough time to update the website.

It doesn't appear to be the first time CFC has received government funding.  For example, in May 2013, Canadian Poultry said this OFFSAP program has been ongoing for 17 years:

"With about 150 in attendance and a cake-cutting ceremony, CFC became the first commodity organization in Canada to be recognized by Agriculture and Agri-food Canada (AAFC) for effective and consistent implementation of its On-Farm Food Safety Assurance Program (OFFSAP). Funding for the development of this program was provided under AAFC’s Canadian Integrated Food Safety Initiative."

Does CFC know about the mis-representation?  If yes, are they concerned about it?  If CFC isn't concerned about the truth, or the mis-leading of the public, what should the public think of this?  What jumps to my mind is if they are willing to deceive us on this small issue, what else are they willing to deceive us on?

So as to be fair to CFC, I have sent them an email about this apparent error in their website.  Once this is clarified, perhaps we should ask for immediate correction; failing which we may need to make formal complaints against CFC with FPCC, and/or with Canada's Competition Bureau under the Competition Act, and/or Advertising Standards Canada.

We may need to ask CFC to do a general review of their entire website, fact checking as needed, and ensuring they have all necessary objective, unbiased data to back up all claims that they make.

Perhaps CFC will try to split hairs, and deny responsibility for accuracy and mis-leading statements under some convoluted technicality.  In that case, the court of public will decide if CFC made the right choice to deny responsibility.

A second source of government funding exists.  Under the Farm Products Agencies Act, Section 28 permits the Minister to requisition $100,000 per payment to an Agency, with an aggregate maximum of $1 Million in payment to any agency as a start-up grant. Did CFC receive any of these monies?  If yes, did they pay it back with interest?  Depending on the answers received to these niggly details, CFC's pronouncement that they are "totally self funded" may be a lie.

Let's see what CFC will do, and how long they will take.

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