Agriculture and Food Processing - Commodities: Livestock


About the Industry | Supply Management | Processing | Marketing & Export | Safety & Quality | Contacts

The Manitoba Advantage

chicken and eggsThe growth in egg processing and Manitoba's central location are prime reasons Manitoba has a solid egg industry.

The continued increase in the demand for eggs from Manitoba's valued-added egg processing sector has led to some corresponding growth in the egg sector.

As well, Manitoba's central location in the heart of North America and excellent service by road, rail and air provides producers with direct access to the inputs necessary for their operation and to the domestic and international consumer.

These factors, coupled with Manitoba's egg producers being among the most efficient, quality-conscious producers in Canada, has provided Manitoba with a competitive advantage over many other egg producing areas.

About the Industry

Manitoba's egg production, similar to its chicken and turkey production, is primarily located in the southeastern portion of the province.

As much as three-quarters of the production takes place within an 80-km radius of Winnipeg.

The industry includes hatcheries, started pullets, feed production, egg production, graders and further processors, and there is a high degree of cooperation and coordination throughout.

Manitoba has three provincial hatcheries that hatch approximately 7 million pullet chicks per year.

The most popular breed for egg-production is the White Leghorn.

There are roughly 174 registered egg producers in Manitoba who can each hold quota for a maximum of 125,000 layers or 420,000 pullets.

Manitoba has more than 2.1 million quota layers and another 900,000 hens producing eggs for processing permits or special export.

The average hen in Manitoba lays approximately 300 eggs per year and is provided with proper lighting, comfortable surroundings, fresh water and a well-balanced diet consisting of grains, proteins, vitamins, minerals and is free of medications.

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Supply Management

Egg production in Canada is a supply-managed commodity regulated through the Federal-Provincial Agreement.

Supply management means that the producers regulate, through Manitoba Egg Producers (provincial marketing board) and the Canadian Egg Marketing Agency (CEMA - national marketing agency), the amount of product (supply) produced in Canada.

This system prevents an excess or shortage of eggs in the marketplace, thereby providing economic stability for the industry.

There are two egg markets within Canada, table or shell eggs and processed eggs.

To estimate the volume of shell eggs required for the table market, CEMA calculates table disappearance and, using predetermined factors, determines whether an increase/decrease in quota is required.

Upon determining the product requirement, CEMA establishes a quota allocation for each province. Processors receive most of their egg supply through a contractual agreement with CEMA.

A national "Eggs For Processing" program enables provincial Boards to enter into agreements with processors to supply eggs for market growth.

The provincial marketing board is then responsible for allocating quota for table eggs, and issuing EFP permits for processed eggs.


There are two major egg processors in Manitoba. Canadian Inovatech Inc. (Canada's largest egg processor) and Burnbrae Farms Ltd., develop innovative value-added products for the food and pharmaceutical industries from egg white, yolk and shell.

These two operations account for nearly all of Manitoba's processed egg product exports -- a value that has grown to greater than $16 million annually.

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Marketing & Export

Manitoba's total egg production (including special export and processing permits) topped 72 million dozen in 2001.

The three commercial grading stations and the 36 registered producer graders in the province graded over 50 million dozen eggs.

Approximately 45 percent (31.2 million dozen) of the eggs were retailed as table eggs to consumers in Manitoba and other Canadian provinces.

The remaining eggs (37.6 million dozen) were shipped to the local processors for further processing.

The processed egg products are then used domestically and exported to countries such as Japan, the United States, Thailand and Egypt.

All of Manitoba's Leghorn hatcheries participate in an extensive breeder flock health-testing program overseen by Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives.

They export a significant portion of their production outside of Canada and to other provinces.

Safety & Quality

The Manitoba Egg Producers, CEMA and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) work cooperatively at all levels of production to ensure that consumers can have confidence in the safety and quality of eggs. Manitoba's egg producers actively participate in the national on-farm food safety program (HACCP) established in 1998 and overseen by CEMA.

Ninety nine percent of the egg producers participate in this voluntary program.

The program represents a major commitment to maintaining the high standards for egg products produced in the province.

Contact: Address: Other Links:

Mila Ruiz Turiaf

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Tel:  204-945-2466
Fax: 204-957-1763
Toll free in Canada and the U.S.

Manitoba Trade & Investment
1100 - 259 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba,
Canada R3B 3P4

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