Trade rules are critical to maintaining the three essential pillars of supply management: producer pricing, production discipline, and import controls. In order to ensure a stable market for all stakeholders in the Canadian chicken supply chain and grow an adequate volume to satisfy Canada’s market requirements, volumes of imported products must be predictable.

Import controls, one of the three pillars of supply management, continues to be challenged from several different practices:

Canada is a net importer of chicken meat. Canadians generally prefer white meat, so Canada’s exports are made up of dark meat. In 2016, Canada imported 193 million kg of chicken and exported 165 million kg.

Our interest in international trade is a balanced one. We support Canada’s balanced trade position that seeks out market access gains for Canadian exporters while preserving the integrity of Canada’s supply management system.

It is of paramount importance that the federal government ensures that chicken supply management is safeguarded in all bilateral, regional or multilateral trade agreements. Whether under the WTO or the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), we stand by the open market access that we provide as the world’s 17th largest importer of chicken.

International trade is an ongoing sensitive issue, so we continue to work collaboratively with our national and provincial poultry, dairy and egg colleagues to monitor all these initiatives closely.