Fresh Ideas, Growing Together

Digitization Advancing a More Resilient, Efficient & Sustainable Chicken Industry

Canadian Agricultural Partnership Supports Next Step in CFO Digital Transformation
BURLINGTON, ONAugust 12, 2021 – Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO), with support through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership’s Place to Grow: Agri-Food Innovation Initiative, is moving forward with the digitization of auditing functions and improved information sharing across the Ontario chicken supply chain.

This project was funded by the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership), a five-year, $3- billion investment by Canada's federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen and grow Canada's agriculture and agri-food sector. This commitment includes $2-billion in cost-shared programs, 60 percent from the federal government and 40 percent from the provincial/territorial government, which are designed and delivered by provinces and territories to meet regional needs while advancing national priorities.

In 2015, CFO launched CFO Connects, a best-in-class digital platform which has transformed the way the chicken industry does business. Building on that success, the approved project will leverage Partnership funding support from the Canadian and Ontario governments to enhance and expand the auditing functionality of the CFO Connects platform. These enhancements will streamline the farm audit process and improve reporting, leading to even greater efficiency and productivity in sector regulation and increased ability for the chicken supply chain to respond to the risk of avian diseases.

“Modernizing our business transactions and auditing functions through digitization is one way that CFO is supporting farmers in doing what they do best, feeding Ontarians with safe, healthy, locally-grown chicken,” said Ed Benjamins, Chair of Chicken Farmers of Ontario. “All Ontario chicken farmers operate under the high standards of the verifiable On-Farm Food Safety Program and Animal Care Program, and these enhancements to CFO Connects will provide CFO and our farmer-members with greater capacity and information to identify and address risks promptly and proactively.”

CFO's Raised by a Canadian Farmer Animal Care Program (ACP) and Raised by a Canadian Farmer On-Farm Food Safety Program (OFFSP) set out clear, auditable and enforceable standards to help guarantee the safety and humane treatment of chickens. These standards are continuously enhanced through ongoing investment in best practices, the implementation of modern technologies, upgraded facilities and through the adoption of new methods of production.

Through advancements in technology, such as mobile cameras, farmers and auditors can record and submit documentation more easily and in less time. Auditors will be able to review documentation through the CFO Connects platform in advance of on-farm audits, allowing them to focus inspections on critical aspects such as physical environments, biosecurity, animal care practices, and on-farm procedures.

Together, CFO and industry stakeholders will benefit from enhanced digitization and continue to grow a more resilient, efficient, and sustainable Ontario chicken industry.

Quote from Minister Bibeau
“Ontario’s chicken farmers play a vital role in keeping our rural communities strong and vibrant while providing quality products,” says The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. “Our Government is pleased to support CFO’s continued modernization to increase the industry’s efficiencies and productivity with the goal of shaping the supply chain’s continued growth and prosperity.”

Quote from Minister Thompson

“Our government is investing in the Ontario chicken sector to enable more innovative technologies and approaches to strengthen the capacity of this industry,” said The Honourable Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “As part of the Strategic Solutions initiative of the Canadian Agriculture Partnership, the Ontario government is helping to fund a digital platform which will enable farmers to streamline their farm reports and audits, improve their process to share information across the industry and keep our food supply chain strong.”

Media Inquiries:
Kathryn Goodish
Senior Director, Communications & Stakeholder Relations