Fresh Ideas, Growing Together

2017 Year in Review from Ed Benjamins, Chair, Chicken Farmers of Ontario

On behalf of myself and my fellow Board Directors, I would like to wish all CFO farmer-members and our industry partners a very Happy New Year.

2017 was a year of exciting change for the Ontario chicken industry. We continued to execute our strategy and create real value for the chicken business. With a focus on 1) profitable, consistent growth; 2) responsible, sustainable production; 3) effective risk management; and 4) positive, productive relationships, your CFO Board advanced many new initiatives that will continue to move our industry forward in 2018.

2017 saw exceptional growth in production allocation, which followed consistently high growth over the last few years. While this growth has many contributors, it should be noted that Ontario consumers show continued confidence in our Premium Ontario Chicken and that our responsible pricing mechanism underpins this profitable, consistent growth.

2017 also brought us one of the biggest transformations the Ontario chicken industry has ever seen. In July, the CFO Board enacted the Modular Loading Regulation. This new Regulation lays the foundation for all CFO farmer-members to transform their farms to be ‘Modular Loading Ready’ by December 31, 2024. This major shift demonstrates that our industry is committed to best-in-class animal welfare practices – which is something we can all be proud of!

In 2017, as our core business grew and welcomed over 50 new quota-holding farming families into the fold, we also welcomed over 30 new Artisanal Chicken program farmers into our business, and our inaugural Local Niche Markets program farmer.

Our strategic plan continues to be aggressive as we are dedicated to generating long-term chicken industry stakeholder value and are relentlessly focused on evolving and growing. While 2017 was a year of exciting changes for our industry, we look forward to building on those successes and momentum in early 2018.

I would encourage all of my fellow CFO farmer-members to plan to attend the 2018 CFO Annual General Meeting on Monday, March 19th in Mississauga. Not only will the Board be launching the 2017 Annual Performance Report (your guide everything CFO accomplished in 2017, and the path forward), but we will be also be offering some major insight into the Board’s direction for the year.

The Board and I look forward to working with all of you as we move into 2018.


Ed Benjamins, Chair, Chicken Farmers of Ontario