In previous postings (see 3000 chickens for Ontario's Small Flockers, Caveat Emptor of Artisanal Chicken, and CFO's Artisanal Chicken: Conflict of Interest, Question the Artisanal Chicken Program of CFO) we'd discussed CFO's new Artisanal Chicken Program, and some of its potential risks or ambiguities.
It takes a lot of hard work, long hours, ingenuity, and resources to build a new business. I know, I've done it. In other words, it isn't easy.
Thieves and fraudsters hoodwink and scam people, lulling them into a false sense of security, getting others to do all of the dirty work for them, then suddenly confiscate (ie. steal) the proceeds of the victim's hard work. Thieves and fraudsters allow their victims to work hard for decades, accumulate their personal property and wealth, then quickly steal it all away in just a few hours of the thieves' effort.
I used to have a cherry tree in my backyard that I pruned and sprayed to keep bountiful harvests of cherries. The wild birds never seemed to touch the cherries, until the cherries were ready for eating. Once ripe, within 4 hours, the tree was stripped clean by the wild birds. My only defenses were to pick unripe cherries, or put a bird net over top of the cherry tree. I installed the net, and our family enjoyed our cherry harvest the next year.
While my cherries were a renewing resource each year, AC chicken under CFO's byzantine rules may not give second chances.
If I choose to be an Artisanal Chicken Farmer, will I need some type of bird net to protect me from the predatory CFO taking all my ripe AC "cherries" before I can enjoy any of the fruits of my labour?
Could Artisanal Chicken ("AC") be a diabolic plan of Chicken Farmers of Ontario ("CFO")?
When you're a multi-millionaire CAFO factory chicken farmer, you are guaranteed a "reasonable return" on you assets and investments in chicken. Since you have no worry about the financial return you receive on your investments, your biggest worry is losing your investment (ie. chicken quota or Supply Management is weakened or destroyed), the chickens that lay the golden eggs forever. The other major risk is to make a bad investment in a new opportunity, and that bad investments kills your chickens that lay golden eggs for you.
At this point in time, we have:
- Chronically weak and volatile world economy;
- A weak Canadian economy, rising food costs; collapsing dollar; quivering real estate bubble values; weak retail sector; falling commodity prices for crude oil, natural gas, minerals, softwood, and many more.
- Ontario following Greece's example of excessive debt, deficit, and piece-meal selling off of public assets;
- Animal welfare advocates questioning the CAFO chicken factory system
- Public and government forces pushing for the banning of wholesale use of antibiotics in animal's feed and water.
It is unclear what will be the optimum choices for AC genetics, growing method, marketing, and processing. What better way than to open up AC to 100 volunteers, allow them to try all the different permutations and combinations. If 99% of the AC farmers fail due to their non-optimum choices or circumstances, that is one less risk for CFO and its members to face.
Once all of the rough edges have been knocked off, and many AC pioneers have proven it works first time, every time, that is when the AC farmers can expect CFO to pounce; similar to the wild birds patiently waiting for my cherries to ripen.
If the AC system becomes a success, all CFO has to do is change the rules, AC chicken farmers are out, and the CFO members can step right in to steal the proven AC system.
CFO's Policies Foreshadow CFO's Future PlansCFO's Artisanal Chicken Policy 212-2015 says:
6.07 Artisanal Production Licences to Artisanal Chicken Farmers are subject to change and do not convey any property rights.That means CFO can do as it pleases with any or all AC licenses, or the AC program overall. They can suddenly cancel the program without warning the day after an AC farmer receives their 3,000 chicks, leaving the AC farmers stranded with birds they cannot own nor sell under CFO's whimsical and arbitrary rules. Since there are no property rights, nothing was taken away by CFO by the sudden cancelation.
The Canadian Bill of Rights says we all have the human rights and fundamental freedoms, namely:
1. (a) the right of the individual to life, liberty, security of the person and enjoyment of property, and the right not to be deprived thereof except by due process of law;As soon as CFO changes a policy, and its rubber stampers at OFPMC, the government's powers delegated to CFO make it law. If CFO suddenly decides to treat AC farmers unfairly or unjustly, who will stand up and stop CFO? Will Geri Kamenz and his merry band of rubber stampers at OFPMC stand up against their CFO friends so as to protect the AC farmers from CFO's tyranny and despotism?
I doubt it.
Only the Canadian Constitution, Charter of Rights & Freedoms, and Canadian Bill of Rights limit the government's powers, and hence limit the delegated powers enjoyed by CFO.
Since CFO's Policy specifically grants an AC license which is not property, the Canadian Bill of Rights does not apply, and CFO is free to treat all AC farmers as their slavish property, pawn, or cannon fodder; as CFO pleases.
Not since the Divine Right of Kings has anybody or any group enjoyed such unrestricted, absolute power awarded to the small, privileged minority of Supply Management (just 8% of all farmers in Canada).
CFO's Artisanal Chicken Policy 212-2015 also says:
9.02 The Artisanal Production Licence is specific to the particular artisanal chicken farmer, in support of the business proposition advanced in application, to whom it is issued and is not tradable, transferable, rentable and may not be pledged as security for indebtedness, and has no monetary value attributed to it.Note that this clause further restricts the use and value of the AC License issued by CFO as ill-liquid and non-fungible. All of which is to CFO's eventual advantage, otherwise why would they be doing this?
CFO's Artisanal Chicken Policy 212-2015 also says:
11.02 The Artisanal Chicken Policy will be reviewed on an annual basis, and determined whether to vary or amend it. CFO may also review the status of any artisanal chicken farmer, their artisanal chicken business community partner(s), and applied for business proposition and issue such orders and directions as it may deem appropriate to give effect to this Policy.I am surprised to see that CFO didn't expressly grant themselves the power to cancel the AC program all together. Of course, CFO could add the power to cancel AC to this policy the day before they exercise that power to terminate AC. In the alternative, they could suddenly declare that AC licenses have become very valuable, and hence AC farmers will be charged $1 Million per year for their license. While AC is still officially operational, nobody is stupid enough to pay that extortion money to CFO. The AC game is effectively finished.
Worst Case ScenarioHere is what I fear most for any Small Flocker considering joining CFO's AC program.
About 100 or so Small Flockers get duped by CFO into joining AC, 99% of them subsequently die due to CFO's wacky rules, delays, or difficulties in startup. More Small Flockers, those who were on the AC waiting list, and without any warning or disclosure by CFO that their AC predecessors crashed & burned, step up to replace the fallen AC pioneers. Eventually in 5 to 10 years, the AC bugs are all worked out, and an AC farmer can start to make a reasonable income, or perhaps a fantastic income, perhaps even better than CAFO chicken factory income. The bigger the AC advantage, the sooner CFO will strike. The AC pioneers will be shot in the back by using the 3 clauses listed above, or by CFO changing its regulations for AC. Preference will then be given to quota-bearing CFO members to confiscate the AC market, and these CFO members will be powerful blood sucking leaches who will step into the fertile ground prepared by the blood, sweat, & tears of the pioneering AC farmers.
CFO's Response to the Worst Case Scenario?Perhaps all of the above shocks the conscience of CFO that someone would suspect that CFO might not have the best of intentions toward all AC farmers. Perhaps CFO never intended to do any of the nasty and immoral acts listed above.
Perhaps CFO has nothing but rainbows, sunshine, & trotting unicorns in their hearts & minds.
In that case, CFO should have no problems with the revision of their policy now, so that AC farmers are adequately protected from the arbitrary, whimsical, despotic, and unlimited powers of CFO.
Divine Right of King CFO?
Not in my world.