Statement on Government Budget Announcement

Chicken Farmers of Canada is currently reviewing the impact on the Canadian chicken industry of today’s budget announcement. As it stands, this announcement is effectively a re-hash of the 2015 commitments that followed initial TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) announcement, and does not include measures to address the impact of the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA).

While we are glad to see that the government is beginning to understand the significant challenges posed by recent trade agreements, there is a long way to go. We will continue to examine these details more closely in our future discussions with government in the Poultry Working Group, where we expect that discussions on CUSMA will be a high priority.

We reiterate that it is more important now than ever for the government to ensure that it maintains its commitment to ending existing practices that currently cost the Canadian chicken industry thousands of jobs, millions of kilograms in production, millions of dollars in revenues and millions of dollars in GDP contributions to the Canadian economy. These current practices include being able to import unlimited quantities of chicken by importing broiler chicken and falsely declaring it as spent fowl, and allowing companies to substitute high-value imported cuts with low- value domestic cuts for re-export.

Canadians want Canadian food and they trust Canadian farmers. In a recent Leger survey, over 88% Canadians said that they believe that it’s important for the government to support Canada’s dairy, poultry and egg farmers.

Supply management is a system that benefits farmers and consumers alike. It exists to ensure that its producers receive fair compensation for their products without government subsidies or periodic bailouts. As a result, Canadian consumers benefit from a consistent and stable supply of high quality, domestically produced food products.