Competition Bureau not interested in deadstock pick-up pricing investigation

Canada’s Competition Bureau has turned down a request to look into concerns that a lack of competition has allowed the price of deadstock pickup from farms to skyrocket in parts of the country.

The Manitoba Pork Council filed a complaint earlier this year, noting a ten-fold increase in prices charged by Rothsay Rendering for fallen stock services. The council says Rothsay informed farm customers in Manitoba last November that it would be raising its fees to $150 per pick-up — a significant increase from $15 a few years ago.

While Rothsay operates its lone Western Canadian by-product rendering facility at Winnipeg, Man., the fee increase in the province was much higher than in Ontario where Rothsay faces more competition, noted the provincial pork group.

In its response, the Bureau says Rothsay’s conduct does not fall under its jurisdiction, since the price increase did not meet the definition of an “anti-competitive act.”

The Competition Bureau’s response “is disappointing to the many Manitoba producers who have little choice but to use this service,” says the council, in a statement issued this week.

The council says it has also made provincial government aware of the issue, and is planning to meet with officials to discuss other options, including permitting and rules around other methods for disposing of deadstock.

On-farm burial and composting are allowed in Manitoba, but there are concerns about these methods when it comes to practicality and biosecurity for preventing the spread of disease.

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