Whether or not you know about supply management, you may be wondering: why should I care?

There are more reasons than you might think. Here are just a few:

1. Supply management protects farmers, making it possible to make a living in agriculture.

Supply management is part of the reason Canadian family farms are able to survive. Before supply management, farms were subject to ‘boom and bust’ cycles, meaning one bad season could be ruinous. But today, supply management offers stability and protection, both for the farmers who grow chicken and the consumers who purchase it. Supply-managed farmers do not have to use government support programs and subsidies survive, and instead make a stable living that allows them to reinvest with confidence in their communities. It also allows for the implementation of rigorous food safety and quality programs, giving consumers the confidence they need in the products they purchase.

2. Supply management ensures a steady supply and steady prices.

That stability translates into a steady supply of food and stable prices for Canadians. By carefully matching supply with demand, supply management ensures that there are no shortages of chicken, which, which means a price that you can count on.

3. Supply management ensures farmers receive a fair return for their work.

Farmers in other countries can be pressured into accepting such small returns that the future of their farm is jeopardized, but Canada’s supply managed farmers have the ability to count on a price that fairly takes their production costs into account.

This has little impact on you. In most cases, the farmer’s share is less than the taxes on a restaurant meal, and much less than the tip or gratuity you leave to the person that served you.

4. Supply management facilitates implementing national programs like food safety and animal care.

The organization involved in running supply management means that we can use that organization to ensure the highest standards of safety and animal care, so that you can be sure that the chicken you buy was raised to the standards you expect.

Having a national program in place from coast to coast allows us to raise chicken to the same high standards in every province, and also provides us with the oversight and enforcement mechanisms to monitor the programs. The OFFSAP program is now mandatory in every province: 100% of Canadian chicken farmers are now certified.

5. Supply management generates jobs across the country.

Supply management means fresh, high-quality, Canadian chicken – but it also means Canadian jobs.

From farm to plate, we generate jobs in farming, processing, veterinary work, transportation, retail, restaurants and more. It isn’t just farmers that benefit from the stability supply management provides: everyone working with these products, throughout the value chain, benefits from the certainty that we provide a steady, predictable supply of our commodity. Both rural and urban economies are impacted.

Canada’s 2,800 chicken farmers and 191 processors help sustain 87,200 jobs, pay $2.2 billion in taxes and contribute $6.8 billion to Canada’s GDP.

These are just a few of the ways that supply management benefits not just Canada’s chicken farmers, but rural and urban communities nationwide and even the country as a whole.