The Agriculture Response Materials Management Inc. (ARMMI) organization has ceased operations and will distribute the remaining stockpile among the four founding poultry boards.
Incorporated as a not-for-profit in 2008, ARMMI was created out of a response to the SARS outbreak in 2003-2004 that created a shortage of quality biosecurity supplies that affected the livestock industry. Its mandate was to ensure that, in the event of a disease threat or emergency, farmers and farmworkers would have access to an adequate supply of biosecurity equipment.
Since then ARMMI has been governed by a committed group of board members and support staff.
“As ARMMI came to fruition, we saw the industry pull together to create a shared resource that was turn-key, in the event of an outbreak,” says ARMMI Chair Albert Visser. “That level of collaboration is what makes the poultry sector strong in its ability to adapt and respond to common challenges.”
Although demands for biosecurity supplies surged in the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, ARMMI was able to supply an Ontario health unit with a significant amount of high-quality equipment to assist with shortages in their elder care homes. The four feather boards, representing chicken, egg, turkey and broiler hatching egg farmers, have made the decision that producers will now be responsible to provide their workers with biosecurity supplies.
“What we are really pleased to see over the life span of ARMMI is the strengthening of a culture of biosecurity awareness at the farm level,” says Visser. “With new technologies emerging to put a shield of protection around the farm, we feel confident that this culture will continue to grow.”
ARMMI’s founding members include the Egg Farmers of Ontario, Turkey Farmers of Ontario, Chicken Farmers of Ontario, Ontario Broiler Hatching Egg & Chick Commission, Poultry Industry Council, Ontario Livestock & Poultry Council, and the Association of Ontario Chicken Processors.