Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Chicken sales are booming

Huge increases in demand for chicken have prompted the national marketing agency to increase allocations by 4.25 per cent.

The rate of increase in demand is almost three times are great as it has been in the previous four years, says the Chicken Farmers of Ontario on its website.

Ontario’s allocation for quota period A-127, which runs from Nov. 2 to Dec. 27, is 4.68 per cent.

In addition, the national agency has repeated its precedent-setting allocation of 268,190 kilograms for special-breeds markets. That’s a tiny beginning of meeting the demand in the Asian community for red-feathered birds and for Hong Kong dressed birds (head and feet left on).

The Ontario board says it “will be announcing shortly its growth strategy that will support more farmer-members and processors being more innovative in meeting these (specialty) markets.”

So far the board has said nothing about what it has done with five applications it has received to process chickens for the kosher market.

One of its challenges is serving that significant market without gaining greater allocations from the national agency or diverting chickens from Ontario processors to meet that demand.

The Association of Ontario Chicken Processors has been adamantly opposed to losing any chickens to others to meet specialty-market demand.

The Ontario board also says it’s reviewing its policy on producing chickens for export. The so-called market development allocations from the national agency are designed to allow increased production to meet the high demand for breast meat and allow for the export of less desirable dark meat.

So far Ontario has required these allocations to be shared among all quota-holding producers whereas other provinces allow farmers shipping to specific companies that are exporting to produce the extra birds.

The market development allocations have consistently been larger for those other provinces.