Chicken Facts: Re “NAFTA talks the perfect occasion to do away with supply management”

This article was published in the Toronto Sun as a direct response to the following article: NAFTA talks the perfect occasion to do away with supply management

Once again, a lot of hyperbole and no facts. The fact is that innovation has been driving growth: On the farm we offer chicken of all types, enhanced animal care and food safety programs, and our processor colleagues take that chicken and create a wealth of products designed to satisfy every consumer need. As a result, chicken is the most consumed meat in Canada. Production has increased 12% in the past four years and will grow another 5% in 2017. Another reason for the popularity of Canadian chicken is affordability. Over the past four years, the retail price of chicken is up only 7.3%, but the farmer’s price has gone down 7%. Politically stable and economically fit, Canada has proven its ability to open up markets for exports and to uphold supply management through 14 trade agreements with 51 countries; we are confident this will continue in the NAFTA negotiations. Supply management is a driving force in the Canadian economy. Canada’s dairy, poultry, and egg sectors are not just 16,168 farmers, they include 927 processors and employ 348,275 Canadians. They contribute $29.6 billion to Canada’s gross domestic product and pay $6.9 billion in taxes. Those Canadians who take the time to look at the facts know that NAFTA is the perfect occasion to preserve supply management.

Mike Dungate

Executive Director
Chicken Farmers of Canada