Industrial Products Program
Egg Farmers of Canada purchases over $160 million worth of eggs annually from graders, for the Industrial Products Program. In this program, we source Canadian grown eggs for sale to Canada’s processing industry or “breakers” which literally crack eggs to pool the liquid, pasteurize the contents and then process the eggs into liquid, dried or frozen forms. These egg products are used to make value added product by the breakers themselves, such as ready-made omelettes, and are also in food manufacturing to make products such as mayonnaise or cake mixes. In addition, they are used by the hotel, restaurant and institutional trade in baking and meal preparations.
Initially, Canada’s egg processing industry took hold during World War II when processed eggs needed to be prepared and shipped overseas for the troops. At that time, roughly 5 % of the eggs produced in Canada were used by the processing market. However, much has changed since that time and now about 30% of eggs produced in Canada are sold to processors.
Another source of supply to our Industrial Products Program is our vaccine egg production. These eggs are produced in special barns and are then sent to vaccine manufacturers to be used to grow human influenza vaccine. Up to the point they leave the barn they are normal edible eggs. The production has a built-in surplus to ensure enough to manage both regular seasonal influenza but also rare occurrences of pandemic influenza, such as was seen in 2009 with H1N1 human influenza. When not needed, the surplus eggs are sold to breakers.
Finally, Egg Farmers of Canada is responsible for sourcing fresh shell eggs if graders become short of supply. This may necessitate finding eggs in another province; at peak demand periods such as Christmas and Easter, table eggs are sometimes sourced in the United States. Graders in the U.S. who ship to Canada must be approved by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and meet the same Canadian government requirements as graders in Canada.