Chicken combined with 13% of other ingredients is labelled a “specially defined mixture” (SDM) and is not considered chicken for import control purposes. In other words, products containing up to 87% chicken meat are generally not subject to import controls.

A handful of companies have identified this as an opportunity to circumvent trade rules, and have been explicitly creating new SDMs, through the addition of sauce to a box of chicken wings or by creatively packaging together two distinct products – such as pizza and chicken pieces – in the same box, in order to import even more chicken into Canada. These products are created deliberately with the sole purpose of evading import controls.

Such actions are undermining Canadian job creation, harming the Canadian economy and hurting Canadian farmers. It is also placing Canadian food manufacturers who play by the rules at a competitive disadvantage.

The solution is simple and fully within the federal government’s authority to implement. The federal government must reinstate into the Canadian Customs Tariff the sauce and cooking requirements that have been negotiated in Canada’s WTO commitments.