By: David Cohlemeyer
Published: January 24, 2013, David Cohlemeyer’s January Newsletter

Beginning farmers should have the opportunity to share in the opportunity of the rapidly growing chicken sector. Chefs and customers clearly want naturally grown chickens. In Ontario, we manage the number of chickens grown for meat so that farmers receive a fair price. This is good. But right now this means that farmers have only 2 options:

Buy quota at $1.75 million for the right to produce a minimum of about 90,000 birds a year. With this investment, the farmer’s banker will not allow taking any chances such as avoiding antibiotics, or letting the chickens out of their cages, or feed anything different than the scientifically formulated rations.

Buy no quota and produce a maximum of 300 birds per year; that can only be sold at their farm gate. 300 birds can hardly be considered a profitable enterprise. Customers do not want to travel to a farm to obtain their carefully raised chicken.

To advocate for intermediate options, send an email to the Farm Product Marketing Commission. Please support this Sustain Ontario Initiative.

Beef, Lamb and Pork have no supply management. So farmers can grow as many as they wish and in whatever ways their customers request. The demand for this quality meat remains high. However, stringent new regulations have forced over 40% of Ontario abattoirs to cease operations. It is becoming just too arduous for specialty farmers to supply their discerning customers. Please learn how you can help the Sustain Ontario Meat Processing Initiative rectify this dilemma.

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5 Responses to Sustain Ontario Meat Processing Initiative

  1. cowboss says:

    10,000 non quota farmers producing 2,000 birds 3 times per year and advertising them as hormone and antibiotic free(all chicken in Canada is hormone and antibiotic free – by CFIA definition) gives you 9 million non quota produced antibiotic and hormone free chickens! What does this do to the current chicken producers in Ontario? Go figure! Wonder no longer why CFO will not ok the non quota request!

  2. kimble says:

    if such a large number of chickens can be raised in the countryside …the chickens will be “dirt cheap” and every Amish/Mennonite farmer will treat them like “hot Potatoes” when all the birds are ready at the same time …and they don’t have freezers to hold them

  3. Wendy says:

    Whole chickens imported in 2011- 24,887,050
    Whole chickens imported in 2010- 28,816,664

    Wouldn’t want small producers replacing that, now would we?

  4. kimble says:

    those numbers represent kilograms of the “fast food type” chickens…..imported pieces (breaded etc) not whole chickens.

  5. Heather says:

    There is NO pasture raised chicken available at farmers markets. All the local farms sell out so fast due to demand. CFIA standards for antibiotics are not as high as mine- I don’t want a mandatory ‘withdrawal time’ I want none ever administered. Americans, Aussies, Brits, Mexicans, even Albertans all get to make choices about healthier chickens to feed their families. Ontarians deserve the same freedoms! I support more flocking options! And doesn’t KFC and other corporate interests own most of the quota anyways, and just ‘contract’ the growing to farmers, thereby evading the whole ‘fair price’ market management intended to earn the farmer anyhow? I know a ‘contract grower’ who got paid .45 a head in 2000. Come on people, open your eyes.