Working with elected officials of all levels, Senators, key public servants and staff is a key component of the work Chicken Farmers of Canada does on behalf of the chicken sector. Government relations plays a central role in advocacy on behalf of its members representing the organization, its brand, and garnering support and guidance on various issues. We want Members of Parliament to think of sitting around a dinner table with their families back home when they think of chicken. We want to remind them that their constituents choose to eat chicken day after day because not only is it affordable, delicious and nutritious, but it is also raised to the highest food safety, health, and welfare standards.
Canada’s chicken farmers work hard, 365 days of the year, to ensure that Canadians have access to high-quality, delicious chicken. It is no wonder that it continues to be Canada’s number one meat, and day after day, Canadians are choosing to feed chicken to their families.
Chicken Farmers of Canada:
- Represents 2,803 farmers, from every province
- Works with value chain partners that include:
- 244 hatching egg farms
- 40 hatcheries
- 76 feed mills
- 191 processing plants
The Canadian chicken industry:
- Contributes $6.8 billion to Canada’s GDP
- Sustains 87, 200 jobs
- Pays $2.2 billion in taxes
Here is a brief overview of some of our issues we discuss with members of Parliament, stakeholders, and people alike.
- Farmers do not set the consumer prices for chicken—these are set by the retailers and restaurants.
- Comparisons show that the price of chicken varies widely from week to week, store to store and product to product
- Chicken is currently the least expensive lean protein
Animal Care Program
- Chicken Farmers of Canada has a third-party audited, mandatory Animal Care Program designed to demonstrate the level of care given to Canadian chickens, with strict enforcement measures for non-compliance
- We are able to enforce the program because of the regulatory authority provided through supply management
- This program is based on the national Code of Practice for the care and handling of poultry—and we worked closely with the National Farm Animal Care Council to update the Code of Practice earlier this year
- The Code includes animal care requirements and recommended practices, based on research and scientific review
- Chicken Farmers of Canada is currently pursuing a government-recognition protocol for animal care, similar to the recognition protocol in place for on-farm food safety, under the Next Agricultural Policy Framework
On-Farm Food Safety Assurance Program
- Chicken Farmers of Canada was the first national organization to achieve full federal, provincial and territorial government recognition for our On-Farm Food Safety Assurance Program (OFFSAP)
- The program offers a set of standards for best practices in biosecurity and disease prevention on the farm
- Our provincial boards have leveraged their supply management regulations to make OFFSAP mandatory in every province, and 100% of Canadian chicken farmers are certified
- Supply management guarantees that all Canadian-raised chicken follows strict food safety and animal care programs
- Supply management provides stability and predictability, which helps us maximize our contribution to the Canadian economy
- Unfortunately, significant breaches in the import controls pillar of supply management have led to a loss of jobs, taxes, and GDP contribution
- By stopping illegal imports of chicken as spent fowl, excluding chicken from the Duties Relief Program and reinstating the sauce and cooking requirements into the Customs Tariff, our industry will create 4,456 new jobs, contribute an additional $335 million to Canada’s GDP and generate $112 million in additional taxes.