Behind a million euthanized chickens, an agricultural model floats

First, he had to wait a little before milking the straw for his two goats.

Goats provide milk, the surplus of which is often given to “like it” chickens, swears by artisan farmer and writer Dominique Lamontagne.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Courtesy Dominic Lamontagne

Then, graze in the meadow and visit the sixty crows.

They are housed in two mobile cages, which move through the pasture twice a day, allowing birds to access new attachments of new grass., Explains the artisan farmer.

One black hen and four chicks

Chickens and chicks graze in the pasture.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Courtesy Dominic Lamontagne

Fifty chickens collected in a large mobile enclosure covering an area of ​​156 square meters comes in turn, Dominic Lamontagne moving once a week, delivering fresh greens to the beckers.

Here the breeder calls Its impossible farm, The animals live in large outdoors, reminiscent of a period of light years away from the intense breeding that agricultural policies have set for decades as a model in Quebec for production.

Quebec model

The typical Quebec poultry farm supplies about 250,000 chickens to the market each year. These animals rarely come to the farmer and grow for a few weeks, a maximum of four or six, and then go to the slaughterhouse.

About 168 million chickens are produced annually in Quebec to order groceries or restaurant menus.

Thousands of chickens collided in a farm building

On average, a poultry farm in Quebec produces about 40,000 chickens at a time, with a few weeks of cycle repeating year-round.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Pascal Pointlane

Alimel and Excelder share 96% of their slaughter, or nearly 3 million chickens are slaughtered, slaughtered and slaughtered each week.

The problem we currently have is that Olimel and Excelter have 96% slaughter allocations that are linked to their plant under the supply plant regime. So all poultry farmers should provide 96% of their production to these two players.

An excerpt from:Pierre-Luke LeBlanc, president of Quebec Poultry

This duo makes an essential and efficient coke in the poultry production line in Quebec. However, a small amount of sand grains in the gear left a mark on the entire chain, as explained, by a labor dispute over the past month. Disables Excelter butcher shop in Saint-Anselm.

The striking workers are holding union symbols and flags in the air.

The 600 workers at the plant are scheduled to remain on strike until a new collective agreement is signed.

Photo: Radio-Canada

If one of these companies collapses, it will have major repercussions, Mary-Jose Renat, General Coordinator of the Union,

We have four large factories in Quebec, Adds Pierre-Luke LeBlanc, president of Quebec Poultry, representing 750 producers. In the past, there were other butcheries that could absorb the shock of a disturbance. These little butcheries are gone. New players need to have more flexibility and never update what we currently do.

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The two mastodons Alimel and Excelter run at full capacity during normal times, but run empty when a link in the production chain is broken.

There are now supply agreements that force poultry producers to deliver Excelter and Allimel. Excelter and Alimel are also responsible for distributors, retailers, and grocery stores. They must be provided to ensure the supply chain, Explains Mary-Jose Renat. So the chain, it rolls […] It is a large industrial system and distribution management prevents it from being fragmented.

A woman with salt and pepper hair stares at the camera in a green setting

Mary-Jose Renat, Coordinator of the Union Basson

Photo: Radio-Canada / Sebastian Tangue

The supply control system that controls production to ensure a fair price for producers and to avoid waste has the opposite effect in times of crisis: it is necessary to respect the allotted quota and throw it away.

A hen will not stop laying eggs and a cow will not stop giving milk because the hunger of the market is going to dry up. Before throwing everything away, there is no other option but to donate as much as they can to the food aid agencies.

The advent of COVID-19 a year ago illustrates this by drastically reducing demand. Conclusion: Hundreds of thousands of liters of milk He found his way to the sewers. Titto for eggs, Sent to the trash by millions Because restaurants are closed.

Dozens of chickens on a farm.

The closure of dining rooms in Quebec restaurants has caused significant losses to egg producers.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Larry Gopil

The losses are huge, because even the farms.

A political choice

Agricultural policies have been financing industrialization and business expertise for decades, Explains Mary-Jose Renat of Union Besson. A farm business, now, is only going to make a very large quantity of pork, poultry or fruit and vegetables.

Union Basin is no longer alone in criticizing this agricultural model, Which gains performance, which loses regression.

We have lost 70% of our farms since the 1960s, Represents the elected representative of Quebec Solitaire ிலி Millis Lessard-Terrian.

Emilis Lessard-Terrian of Quebec Solitaire was elected in the constituency of Ruin-Noranda-Demiskaming, in the microphone of Des Matins N or project.

Emilis Lessard-Terrian, Ruin-Noranda-Demon Gaming Unity MP

Photo: Radio-Canada / Angie Laundry

We have seen on a large scale the quiet disappearance of our small family farms and the rapid growth of industrial agriculture that produces large areas., She adds. We have lost half of our small butcheries in the last 20 years. Unfortunately, they are increasingly being replaced by large industrial installations that are far from regions.

This is our agricultural model, what is the problem?

An excerpt from:Emilis Lessard-Terrian, Member of Parliament for Ruin-Noranda, Quebec Solitaire

Legalize agricultural crafts

Dominic Lamontagne refines his role in the shadow of this large industrial complex, well situated in the human-scale setting of St. Lucia, the village of less than 1,200 souls, with its motto, Rich in nature, Calling back to earth.

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We are dealing with a system that I call intensive therapy, which involves a variety of components that need to be synchronized together for it to work., He mentions. The aim is to provide the most affordable chicken to consumers.

In front of a green wall a man holds young chickens in his arms

Dominic Lamontagne and some of his chicken

Photo: Radio-Canada / Courtesy Dominic Lamontagne

We saw it at the beginning of the epidemic: if a link in the chain is broken, everything will stop, everything will collapse, and we will have to do euthanasia because there are lines waiting in front of the slaughterhouses. It should go out on one side and the other. In my opinion, these are the anomalies associated with productive exploitation.

An excerpt from:Dominic Lamontagne, artisan farmer, writer and activist

Former Montreal restaurant Dominique Lamontagne left several years ago Genetic search. He left the metropolis for St. Lucia to reconnect with what he had been called The source of things.

A chick emerges from the brown of a chicken

Chicks grow in the open and feed on fresh grass.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Courtesy Dominic Lamontagne

My dream is to have big country tables with a dozen services highlighting Quebec alcohol, Quebec products, Quebec vegetables, great good food, but the meats grown and slaughtered here, He mentions.

His dream is, for the time being, inaccessible, as it is illegal in the view of Quebec law.

Shoe Pinch by Marketing. If the municipality allows it, we can raise chickens and raise animals MAPAQ There is no problem in slaughtering animals for our own consumption.

An excerpt from:Dominic Lamontagne, artisan farmer, writer and activist

Once a craft farm sells its products, It becomes more complicated Due to strict MAPAQ regulations.

I realized when I came here that I could market my products, I had hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars., Remembers Dominic Lamontag,

A change in the horizon

Moods and sensitivities change. After many years of operation, Dominique Lamontagne sees the dawn of a horizon where the artisan breeder finds a place on the plates of Quebec,

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Bill 99 (New window) Filed by Agriculture Minister Andre Lamontagne, it received unanimous support in the National Assembly on June 10. In particular, it empowers the Minister to set up pilot programs to promote food innovation and repeal legislation on the regulation and development of local butcheries.

Mr.  Intimacy of Lamontagine.

Khaki MP for Johnson at the National Assembly in Quebec City in June 2019. And Andre Lamontagne, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Ivano Demers

The function of the biofood chain should correspond to our values, Refers to the Office of the Minister for Radio-Canada.

This is an opportunity for entrepreneurs to re-access agriculture, instead of subscribing to a larger credit and marketing companies., This Dominic Lamontagne.

In his opinion, this agricultural renewal will attract youth and revitalize the regions.

The next generation, which has seen parents breaking teeth and health in a productive farm that pays $ 3 per hen, 79 bucks per liter of milk and peanuts for eggs, is keen on cultivating more agriculture. Human.

An excerpt from:Dominic Lamontagne, artisan farmer, writer and activist

According to him, countless small warriors appear in the agricultural world by strengthening Quebec’s food autonomy, creating a web capable of absorbing shocks. It rebuilds the relationship between the producer and his community, which has been damaged by the agri-food industry.

At this time, we can not taste the milk of the cow that is going to look at the pasture. This milk is mixed in a castle, which goes to a processor, which is “sent” to the right and left., He explains. We can never taste that cow’s milk, because we have no right to go to the maker and tell him: “ Can you take two liters of raw whole milk with the cream floating above? ” ‘. It is illegal in Quebec.

Slaughtered chickens die in vain at the altar of a labor dispute that has shut down the largest butchery in Quebec.

Chicken feathers park the floor of a farm building inside with a tractor.

In the past month, more than a million chickens have had to be hatched.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Sebastian Tangue

This chapter, which has been running for 28 days, could trigger many more such strikes in the future.

For now, it only enhances a country’s reputation, Canada is already a leader in food waste in North America.

In collaboration with David Ramillard

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