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Wednesday, August 12, 2015
Growing the Ontario chicken industry
Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) has announced that it is launching a portfolio of new and revised programs that will meet the needs of Ontario consumers while creating new opportunities for farmers and processors. The programs were developed following extensive public and industry consultations and will use a portion of the future growth in Ontario’s production allocation to facilitate new business opportunities.
The portfolio will include the creation of three new programs, an Artisanal Chicken program, a Local Niche Markets program and a Business Development program, while also enhancing and updating some of CFO’s existing programs such as the New Entrant programs. CFO’s Small Flock program is being renamed the “Family Food” program.
“These new and enhanced program opportunities represent a very balanced approach to growing the chicken industry in Ontario,” said Henry Zantingh, Chair of CFO. “They will strengthen the supply management system and accelerate profitable sustainable growth across the chicken industry value chain in Ontario.
The announcement follows a consultative process conducted by CFO working collaboratively with the Association of Ontario Chicken Processors and the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission as Team Ontario. This group reached out to a broad range of industry, public, and farmer stakeholders to seek their views and opinions on the allocation of future growth in Ontario.
The consultation plan outlined some clear objectives for CFO’s new Allocating Growth program. These objectives included:
Evolving the allocation systems (producer and processor) to improve the flexibility and responsiveness in capitalizing on growth opportunities in the chicken market place
Creating value by serving the needs of new, growing and emerging markets
Encouraging innovation and new business-building ideas
Serving the needs of existing markets, taking into consideration their size, importance and historical investment
Developing a system that is predictable and stable, which aligns the interests of key stakeholders in the chicken industry
Encouraging quality, efficiency and value creation
Following consultations, CFO and Team Ontario spent considerable effort reviewing, understanding and reflecting on the views provided by the various stakeholders.
In developing the new programs, CFO addressed some opportunities which became clear during the consultations process. They include:
There is a definite demand for small-scale production above the current Small Flock limit
A number of niche, local and community needs appear to be unmet, especially in Northern Ontario
Broad support for encouraging new entrant farmers and processors exists
More details on the new “Allocating Growth” programs and business opportunities for farmers and processors to meet consumer demand will be announced over the coming months. The full list of new, expanded and revised programs will be outlined on the CFO website as they become available.