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COVID-19 challenges chicken market, CFO Board leads forward

BURLINGTON, ON – April 22, 2020  Due to the uncertainties posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and resultant impacts on chicken markets, the Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) Board of Directors has re-evaluated the Ontario A-164 allocation which was originally set at +2.5% above the adjusted base at the Chicken Farmers of Canada (CFC) meeting on February 5, 2020 in Ottawa, ON.

Today, CFO is announcing that after careful and quantitative analysis, the Ontario A-164 allocation will be reset at -12.6% below the adjusted base for A-164 domestic allocation which is 15% lower than what had been decided previously for A-164 by the CFC Board on February 5, 2020.

“Chicken remains the #1 protein choice for Canadian consumers,” said Ed Benjamins, Chair, Chicken Farmers of Ontario. “However, Ontarians have adjusted where and what they eat and how they shop amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Our tightly integrated industry is being tested by the scope, depth, and length of the pandemic.” 

Physical distancing has significantly impacted the food service sector. As a result, the total demand for chicken is now materially lower than pre-pandemic levels.

CFO’s provincial A-164 allocation is framed on a public policy of “balanced best interest” upon weighing the various factors, perspectives and dynamics resulting from the pandemic. 

Speaking to production planning during the pandemic, Rob Dougans, President and CEO, Chicken Farmers of Ontario, said, "We're committed to monitoring and proactively responding to this evolving situation, ensuring that the levels of production are appropriate relative to demand. We continue to work closely with our industry stakeholders, along with all levels of government to ensure we're aligned with public policy."

The national allocation for A-164 was set at the Chicken Farmers of Canada (CFC) meeting on February 5, 2020 in Ottawa and remains unchanged at this time. CFO continues to be very supportive of the national system.

CFO has made the decision to re-evaluate the Ontario A-164 allocation based on the unique and integrated needs of the Ontario chicken industry value chain and the Board’s commitment to proactively responding to changing market conditions.
The CFO Board is working towards delivering A-164 Schedule 1s to CFO farmer-members by the end of this week. 

Ontario processors can expect to receive their Processor Allocation in the coming days. 

As things continue to quickly change, the CFO Board looks forward to sharing with stakeholders how they are continuing to lead and safeguard the chicken industry from the perils of COVID-19.