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FAQ

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Does Egg Farmers of Canada cover overhead costs when funding research projects?

Egg Farmers of Canada does not offer funding to cover overhead or indirect costs associated with a research project. Our focus is to maximize the resources directly associated to and available for the research project.

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Can I apply for research funding for multiple projects?

There is no limitation to the number of research funding applications submitted. Researchers are welcome to submit applications for multiple projects that align with Egg Farmers of Canada’s research priorities at the same time and for projects that overlap with an existing project.

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Who can apply for Egg Farmers of Canada’s research funding?

To be considered for funding, the Principal investigator must work full-time at a Canadian institution or organization. There are no specifications or requirements regarding the faculty or academic status of the Principal investigator. The Principal investigator, co-investigators and/or collaborators for each research project will be evaluated holistically to assess the strength of the research team and the expertise each member brings to the project.

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I’ve completed Egg Farmers of Canada’s research funding application online. What happens next?

Researchers are invited to complete and submit a research application during our winter/spring and summer/fall call for letters of intent. Following each call, the submissions are evaluated against our research priorities and all applicants are contacted. Those who meet the criteria are invited to submit a full proposal. A funding decision is made following the review of the full proposal and the results are communicated to the applicant.

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Is there a limit on the duration of a research project funded by Egg Farmers of Canada?

We understands that sound research takes time. There is no limitation to the length or duration of a project funded through our research program. Past projects have ranged from one to as many as four years. Regardless of length, timeliness is considered at the evaluation phase, and clear milestones and deadlines must be outlined for each project.

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Is there a minimum or maximum amount of funds available for a research project?

There is no minimum or maximum limit to the funds available for a research project. Total amount of funds requested is taken into consideration along with other important criteria, including alignment of the project with EFC’s research priorities and their practical application to the industry and to consumers.

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What does the best before date on the egg carton mean?

A best before date is required by Federal regulation if the shelf life of a food item is less than 90 days. The date indicates the amount of time the eggs will maintain its Grade A quality, if stored properly. This is normally 28 to 35 days from the date of packing.

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Does supply management raise the prices for consumers?

Canadians only spend an average of 12% of their disposable income on their food. Compared to other countries this is among the lowest levels in the world. Eggs represent only a fraction of this. A dozen eggs—the most complete protein source available—can be purchased for less than the price of a latte.

At the store, the price of eggs is set based on what the local market will bear. The price is established by the retailer based on a number of reasons, including brand positioning, retailer competition and promotions.

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Is supply management blocking international trade deals?

Supply management is not blocking international trade deals. The Government of Canada has successfully negotiated twelve trade agreements with 43 countries since 1994 and all of these have opened up new markets, improved trade rules and preserved supply management.

Our solid domestic market-focused policy allows egg farmers to produce products for Canadians that are among the best in the world. As a result, provide stability at home while our agricultural colleagues with greater export potential pursue opportunities in international markets

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How can I become an egg farmer?

Most provincial and territorial egg boards offer new entrants programs to help new farmers and farm families start egg farming operations. These programs are designed to encourage and support new farmers in the industry. Contact your provincial or territorial egg board to learn more about becoming an egg farmer, the application process and eligibility.

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How many eggs are produced each year in Canada?

An average of 595 million dozen eggs are produced each year by registered egg farmers. Visit the Market information section of our website for more information on this and for additional egg production data.

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How many egg farmers do you represent?

Egg Farmers of Canada takes pride in representing Canada’s more than 1,000 regulated egg farmers in all ten provinces and the Northwest Territories. The farmers we represent are committed to providing Canadians with a constant supply of fresh, local, high-quality eggs.

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What does Egg Farmers of Canada do?

Now in its fifth decade as one of Canada’s leading agriculture organizations, Egg Farmers of Canada ensures domestic egg production meets growing demand for fresh, local, high-quality eggs. The organization also promotes egg consumption and good nutrition, manages national programs and represents the interests of regulated egg farmers from coast to coast.

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How can I apply for research funding?

We invite researchers to complete and submit a funding application on our website during our winter/spring or summer/fall call for letters of intent. To be considered for funding, research projects must align with Egg Farmers of Canada’s research priorities and have a practical application within the industry. Visit the research and development section of our website for more information about our research program and available funding.

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What type of research does Egg Farmers of Canada fund?

Egg Farmers of Canada funds research at universities across the country to address the issues that matter to our industry. Our research priorities are egg production, poultry science, animal and human nutrition, and economic and environmental sustainability.

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Does Egg Farmers of Canada fund research?

Egg Farmers of Canada is committed to supporting research and development for the egg farming industry. With a focus on egg production, poultry science, animal and human nutrition, and environmental and economic sustainability, we fund research at universities across Canada.

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What do your farmers do to ensure the well-being of their animals?

Our farmers are responsible stewards of their animals and responsible animal husbandry is a top priority. Farmers follow a national Animal Care Program based on a national code of practice. The Code of Practice is developed in consultation with Canada’s top veterinarians, scientists, as well as representatives from the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, industry and government. Egg Farmers of Canada actively fund independent research at leading universities into welfare and farming practices and we are committed to mobilizing this knowledge throughout the industry.

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What on-farm standards do registered egg farmers follow?

Registered Canadian egg farmers take part in a national Animal Care Program and comprehensive on-farm food safety program, called Start-Clean, Stay-Clean. These national programs set out important guidelines, based on the latest research and information, and were developed by Canada’s leading experts. Farms are inspected by trained field inspectors and audited against Egg Farmers of Canada’s national programs.

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What is the nutritional value of eggs?

Each large egg contains 6 grams of protein and 14 essential nutrients like vitamins A, D, E, folate, iron and zinc. Eggs are one of the few foods considered to be a complete protein because they contain all 9 essential amino acids. Visit the nutrition section of eggs.ca to learn more about egg nutrition.

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Why are eggs printed with a code?

The numbers printed on individual eggs are part of a  traceability system that identifies information such as the farm where the eggs are produced and the best before date. This code allows Canadians to easily access this information even when the egg carton is discarded. Through programs like this, we are able to ensure Canadians have a constant supply of fresh, safe and high-quality eggs and that you continue to have confidence in the food you buy for your family.

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Some eggs now have a code printed on the shell. What is the ink made out of?

The ink used in the printing process is produced based on Canadian Food Inspection Agency guidelines. The printing process is done with either vegetable- or alcohol-based ink that is 100% food safe. The ingredients and colour may vary depending on the brand of eggs and where the eggs are sold.

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What are the benefits of supply management to farmers?

Supply management strengthens Canadian egg farms. Strong farms contribute to countless Canadian communities by creating jobs and supporting the local economy. In fact, the Canadian egg industry supports more than 16,761 jobs and delivers $1.4 billion to Canada’s GDP.

Supply management provides market stability and allows Canadian egg farmers to receive a fair return for their efforts. Farmers are able to invest in comprehensive on-farm programs, and fund research and development. As a result, Canadian egg farming is one of the few agricultural sectors that is self-sufficient, requiring no government subsidies.

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What are the benefits of the system of supply management to consumers?

The system of supply management provides Canadians with a constant supply of fresh, high-quality and locally produced eggs that adhere to strict safety standards. Supply management helps ensure that the tradition of farming can be passed down from generation to generation and helps our communities thrive.

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What is the system of supply management?

The system of supply management is a uniquely Canadian system that ensures the domestic production of eggs is matched to Canadian demand. The system is based on three critical pillars—production planning, imports controls and producer pricing. Each pillar is equally important in ensuring that the system operates smoothly.

The system of supply management is run by Canadian farmers who agree to follow a consistent set of rules and in return, receive a fair return for their effort. These farmers follow the highest standards for food safety and farming practices, ensuring that Canadians receive fresh, local, high-quality eggs year-round.

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I am looking for Canadian egg market data. Is this information available online?

Egg Farmers of Canada and our partners maintain up-to-date statistics and market information on the Canadian egg industry. This includes reports on egg prices, production, imports and industrial products. Visit the Market information section of our website to access this data.

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What are processed or pasteurized eggs?

Processed eggs are shell eggs that are broken by special machines and pasteurized before being further processed or packaged as liquid, frozen or dried eggs. Pasteurized eggs are exposed to high temperatures to eliminate any bacteria that may be present.

Pasteurized eggs are usually sold as liquid egg products or further processed as ingredients in the manufacturing of foods such as mayonnaise, noodles and baked goods. They are also used to make non-food items, including pharmaceuticals, shampoo, pet foods and adhesives.

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Are organic eggs washed in a different solution than other eggs?

All eggs are gently washed in a sanitizing solution and inspected at a grading station registered with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Organic eggs are washed with an approved organic soap. This is part of the certification process.

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Are eggs washed and what are they washed with?

Eggs are washed in a sanitizing solution and scrubbed with revolving brushes to remove dirt and any bacteria that may be found on the shell.

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What is candling?

Candling is the method used to inspect eggs. The egg is passed over a strong light which makes the interior visible. During this process the condition of the shell, size of the air cell and position of the yolk are inspected. The process determine if the egg meets the grade requirements for Canada Grade A, B or C.

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What is an egg grading station?

Grading stations receive, wash, candle, weigh and pack eggs. All grading stations are registered and inspected by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

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What are the federal regulations regarding Canadian eggs’ weight and size?

You may have noticed that the eggs you guy at the store come in a variety of sizes ranging from peewee to jumbo. In Canada, Federal regulation determines the standards for egg size and all Grade A eggs are categorized by weight, not size or shape.

Canada Grade A eggs are sized by the following weight and categories:

SIZE WEIGHT (Including Shell)
Pee Wee less than 42 g
Small at least 42 g
Medium at least 49 g
Large at least 56 g
Extra Large at least 63 g
Jumbo 70 g or more
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What is the difference between Grade A, B, C and Nest Run eggs?

There are four quality grades that apply to eggs in Canada. These requirements are outlined by the Canadian Egg Regulations.

Canada Grade A eggs are identified by the Canada A symbol on their pack and are primarily sold at the store. Grade A eggs must meet the Canadian Food Inspection Agency standards, including:

  • Reasonably firm albumen
  • Round, well centered yolk
  • Small air cell (less than 5 mm deep)
  • Clean, uncracked shell with anormal shape

Canada Grade B eggs have an uncracked shell that might have a rough texture or abnormal shape. The yolk is slightly flattened with a watery white. They are sold for commercial baking or for further processing into foods such as mayonnaise, noodles or baked goods.

Canada Grade C eggs may have a cracked shell, the yolk loose, or the white thin and watery. Grade C are not sold to consumers, but instead to commercial processors for further processing.

Canada Nest Run (NR) are usually sent for further processing. These eggs are typically not washed, candled or sized.

Consult section 4.5 of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s Shell Egg Manual for additional information on egg grading in Canada.

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What are specialty eggs?

Egg farmers are proud to provide Canadians with a variety of options by offering a choice of eggs at the store, including classic white and brown eggs, and specialty eggs such as Omega-3, vitamin enhanced, free run and free range, vegetarian-fed and organic. Specialty eggs are a direct outcome of research and allow farmers to provide products which satisfy the needs of Canadians.

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How are eggs certified organic?

Eggs that are sold as organic are produced under specific standards laid out by the Canadian General Standards Board and certified by a reputable organic certification board. All certified organic eggs in Canada are produced in free-range operations and the hens are fed certified organic feed. Visit the Canadian General Standards Board’s website for more information.

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Why are egg yolks sometimes a vibrant yellow or orange and other times a pale yellow? Is one better than the other?

Egg yolk colour can range from pale yellow to deep orange. The type of feed the hen eats influences the colour of the yolk. All feed is carefully balanced to ensure the hens are getting the vitamins and minerals they require. Wheat-based feeds tend to produce a paler yolk colour, while corn-based feeds produce a darker yolk colour.

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What is the difference between brown and white eggs?

Aside from the colour of the eggshell, there is little difference between brown and white eggs. The eggshell colour depends on the breed of the hen. Generally speaking, white shell eggs come from hens with white feathers, while brown shell eggs are produced by hens with brown feathers. Nutritionally, both brown and white eggs are identical unless the feed has been enhanced.

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What are chickens fed?

Egg farmers work with nutrition specialists to make sure their hens receive a natural diet consisting of grains, protein, vitamins, minerals and water. A balanced diet is vital for maintaining the hen’s health and also plays an important role in the quality of eggs produced.

Canadian egg farmers follow feed regulations set by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Steroids and hormones are not approved for use in Canada. This means that the eggs you buy at the store do not contain steroids or hormones.

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Which hen housing system is the best?

In Canada, egg farmers use a variety of different systems to house their hens. Each system provides a clean environment, access to fresh food and water, and protection from natural predators. Most hens are housed in temperature controlled barns because the Canadian climate is so variable. This allows farmers to keep a consistent temperature in the bar, and protects the hens from inclement weather like rain, snow, heat and humidity.

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How many hens does the average Canadian egg farm have?

The average Canadian egg farm has 10,000 to 20,000 hens. Canadian egg farms can range from a few hundred to more than 400,000 hens.

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