Whatcom County stores now have one more source of revenue when it comes to cross-border sales.
On Sept. 1 Canadian food safety officials lifted import restrictions on a variety of poultry products coming from Washington state. The restrictions were put in place last winter during a U.S. bird flu outbreak that included a strain of the virus being present in a hawk and a duck in Whatcom County.
Up until Sept. 1, restricted items from Washington state included eggs, live birds, poultry meat and raw pet foods containing poultry products.
The lifting of the restrictions is good news for stores like Edaleen Dairy, which sold “a fair amount” of eggs to Canadians before the restrictions were in place, said Mitch Moorlag, general manager.
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While the Canadian dollar is much weaker, Moorlag said they may get solid sales from Canadians because the egg supply has diminished as a result of actions taken to combat the bird flu. Last week the Canadian dollar was hovering around 75 cents compared to the U.S. dollar.
“We have a pretty loyal crowd of Canadian customers,” Moorlag said, noting that the sale of dairy products has remained solid at Edaleen’s stores, which are in Lynden, Sumas and Blaine. Even with the weaker loonie, many dairy products remain a better deal in the U.S. than in Canada.
According to the latest Canadian and U.S. government data, the average price for a dozen eggs in Canada is $3.29 Canadian while the U.S. price is $2.57. Once you factor in the exchange rate, the U.S. eggs are slightly more expensive.
The poultry restrictions into Canada remain in place for several Midwest states as the virus was still a problem last spring.
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