Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay Food Strategy lobbies for northern poultry production

The Chicken Farmers of Ontario are holding a northern Ontario consultation on the growth of the chicken industry. The Food Strategy will ask them to make it easier for new farmers to enter the quota system.

Chicken Farmers of Ontario agrees to northern Ontario consultation on growth of the chicken industry

The Thunder Bay Food Strategy wants the Chicken Farmers of Ontario to help grow chicken farming in northern Ontario, because there is currently only one major producer in the entire region. 

Chicken production is set to increase in the province under a new national allocation agreement with the Chicken Farmers of Canada.

Food Strategy coordinator Kendal Donahue said the north should have a chance to benefit. 

"Most of our chicken is brought in over 1,000 kilometres from southern Ontario, and this has economic implications – these are jobs that are not being maintained locally," she said.  "And also it has implications for food security."

CFO added northern Ontario consultation

The Chicken Farmers held several southern Ontario consultations on industry growth last month.

On Jan.27, twenty northern Ontario farmers and food organizations sent a letter to the CFO and the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission requesting a hearing for northern Ontario.

"We felt that really, they should be looking province-wide and also [at] areas in the province where there's definitely demand for poultry [and] people interested in raising chicken, and where there's currently no one really raising chickens," Donahue said.

The commission responded by scheduling a northern Ontario consultation for Tuesday to be carried out by teleconference or video conference.

Donahue said the Thunder Bay Food Strategy will ask the CFO to make it easier for new farmers to enter the supply management system.

She said she'd like the organization to lower the number of birds new farmers need to buy to get started.

Donahue added that she also wants the CFO to increase the number of birds farmers can keep before they're required to buy quota.

CFO chair Henry Zantingh told CBC News, "the consultation is about hearing the views of people, but what it means for the future has yet to be determined."  

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