The Chicken Farmers of Ontario marketing board has issued a call for proposals to establish processing to meet the demand for kosher chicken.
It has set a May 30 deadline for proposals to be filed electronically with the marketing board.
The proposals must show that the applicants have the financial, management and marketing resources to launch a successful business and must fit within the four corners of supply-management regulations.
The province’s only kosher chicken-processing plant, Chai Kosher Poultry of Toronto, closed a year ago when it sold its business to Sargent Farms which does not process for the kosher market.
Sargent gained Chai’s share of Ontario chicken production which the marketing board rations among processing companies.
The chicken marketing board says on its website that those who want to buy kosher chicken say there is only one Canadian plant remaining in that business – it’s in Montreal - and it can’t process enough birds to meet demand.
The chicken board has said nothing about its failure to supply chicken to the province’s only plant, CAMI International Poultry Inc. of Welland, that processed for the Asian community seeking Hong Kong dressed chicken – i.e. feet and heads left on.
The chicken board is also developing a policy to encourage processing to meet specialty-markets demand, but has not yet posted any information about that policy.
The province’s dominant processors opposed that policy, stalling its introduction for more than a year. They withdrew an application for a public hearing by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food Appeal Tribunal without giving any reasons for the withdrawal.