Gillies Community Centre is hosting a discussion on the feasibility of a local chicken processing plant. If you are a poultry processor, potential processor, or poultry retailer, you won't want to miss this this event! The meeting will be held on Thursday, November 26 from 1:00-4:00pm at Gillies Community Centre. Check out the event poster for more details.
Over the past several months the Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) have announced new programs aimed at ecouraging new entrant farmers and processors to meet the demand for small-scale production and regional demand, especially in Northern Ontario.
In Ontario (and across Canada) chicken production works under a marketing system known as "supply management." Supply management matches production to demand to ensure that there is sufficient supply and that farmers receive a fair price for their product. While this system has many positive features, it also tends to favour existing producers and growers producing at a large scale. Consider the following: Ontario chicken farmers raise over 200 million chickens a year, valued at over 780 million dollars before it leaves the farm. There are over 1,100 independent chicken farmers in Ontario with only one farmer growing chicken in northern Ontario.
In July the CFO launched the Artisanal Chicken program, which was directed at farmers interested in growing between 600 and 3,000 chickens for select target markets such as local farmers' markets. This was followed by the Local Niche Markets program, announced in September, to allow farmers to grow between 6,000 and 60,000 chickens for the local market. In October the CFO expanded its New Entrant Chicken Farmer program, now in its fourth year, and announced a brand new program for chicken processors. This new suite of programs is intended to make it easier for new enterprises to process chicken in underserved or emerging markets like Thunder Bay.