The Chicken Farmers of Ontario marketing board gained the right to increase production by 5.5 per cent at the most recent meeting of the Chicken Farmers of Canada national supply-management agency.
The agency has a policy of capping increases at five per cent, but under a deal that is still under appeal by processors in the three most westerly provinces, Ontario gets a greater share of production increases than most other provinces.
Ontario is using much of its increase to introduce policies and programs to meet the demand for special and niche markets, including production from farmers who don’t own quota and processors who are new to the business.
The board says on its website that "Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) advanced a fact-based, consumer driven analysis to CFC (the national agency) which made the case that chicken is now the preferred meat protein, and that the market has undergone a protein shift driven by consumer attitudes and preferences as well as chicken’s price advantage over competing meats.
"Also, that the shift will be sustained and even accelerate with lifestyle and demographic trends, and aided by the production advantage that chicken enjoys over competing meats, especially beef.
“CFO urged all industry stakeholders to work to capitalize on the tailwinds from this shift for sustainable and profitable growth for chicken.
“Fact-based analysis shows the market is very tight and needs a higher volume” than the five per cent the national agency is allocating for the next two six-week production periods, the board says.
Ontario’s increases will be 56,178,309 eviscerated kilograms for quota period A-135 (January to March) and 57,671,488 eviscerated kilograms for A-136 (March to May).
Ontario remains committed to the two quota period approach and anticipates that volume allocations for the A-137 and A-138 quota periods will be set at the February 2, 2016, national agency meeting, the board says on its website.