Ever wonder how your chicken dinner gets to your plate? Surprisingly, most Canadians aren’t aware of the journey their food takes from the farm to their plates. Chicken Farmers of Canada believes it is important to know where your chicken comes from and how it gets to your local store.
Our story doesn’t begin in the barn; it actually begins in our offices. You see, chicken farmers follow a system called “supply management”. This means that farmers across the country only produce enough chicken to meet the Canadian demand. Since this demand fluctuates throughout the year, chicken farmer representatives meet every 8 weeks to determine production. This ensures there are no shortages or surpluses of chicken, and provides Canadians with a constant supply of fresh, high-quality chicken at all times.
Before each flock’s arrival, all the barns are thoroughly cleaned, filled with new litter and the temperature is set. Farmers ensure all equipment is ready for the new flock, right from testing the water to making sure all controls and monitoring devices are functioning.
Once the chicks are placed, they are constantly monitored by the farmers who ensure they receive proper care. All birds have 24/7 access to feed and clean water; in addition, they can roam free around the barn at all times. All farmers follow the strict guidelines established by the Raised by a Canadian Farmer On-Farm Food Safety and Animal Care Programs. These programs are mandatory in all provinces and 100% of our farmers are certified. Furthermore, Chicken Farmers of Canada oversees a 3rd-party process of farm audits in order to ensure all rules and regulations are respected.
Once the chickens are fully grown, they are sold to processors and are transported to processing plants. The transportation and processing of chickens is regulated and monitored by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), ensuring all proper protocol is followed. When processed, the meat is transported to retailers and is sold to thousands of Canadian stores across the country. In fact, 62% of chicken is sold at the grocery store, while 22% is sold to fast food restaurants, 10% to full service restaurants and 6% to hotels and institutions.
And that is how the chicken gets from the farm and into your plate; just a part of how Chicken Farmers of Canada has a role in providing Canadians with the fresh, high-quality chicken they trust!
For more information, check out our infographic called From Gate to Plate.