Fresh Ideas, Growing Together

From the desk of Ed Benjamins – On the heels of Chicken Day at Queen’s Park

October 25, 2018 

Dear CFO farmer-members:

On behalf of the Board, I am very pleased to be able to share this message with you today!

Yesterday, your CFO Board of Directors spent the day at Queen’s Park meeting with the new government. We also hosted our annual Chicken Day Reception.

We started the day by meeting with the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, the Honourable Ernie Hardeman.

From there, we met with over 20 Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs), in formal meeting settings, with thirty minutes of undivided face-time.

The day ended with a reception in the Legislative Dining Hall where over 200 people (MPPs and their staff) enjoyed our locally-grown chicken wings and continued to discuss our vibrant Ontario chicken industry.

I was fortunate enough to provide some remarks on our industry’s behalf. I’d like to share those with you today (click here to review the complete transcript)

Minister Hardeman provided remarks, John Vanthof (MPP for Timiskaming—Cochrane, and NDP Agricultural Critic) provided remarks, John Fraser (MPP for Ottawa South, and Liberal Ag Critic) provided remarks, and Mike Schreiner (MPP for Guelph and Leader of the Green Party) provided remarks.

Through all the meetings, and all the speeches - the message is very clear. Our Ontario government stands behind us, shows unwavering support for our supply management system, and is pleased with the work that we are doing to continue to move our industry forward.

We talked about everything you do on your farms. The new and emerging consumer markets that you meet, the high animal welfare and food safety standards that you adhere to, the significant investments in innovation and growth that you are making, and the passion and care that you have for our shared industry.

We know that the new government is ‘open for business’ – and we assured them that we are taking care of business - through our significant economic contribution and our deep-rooted communities across Ontario.

We told them that over the past decade we’ve completely modernized our approach. It’s not the same old supply management. We’re doing everything we can to put the needs of the consumers – the people – first.

The Board and I encourage you to attend one of the upcoming Regional Meetings (which start on Monday, October 29 in Grimsby - click here for more details). At each of these meetings, we’re going to be doing some important work geared towards putting the foundation in place for our next strategic plan. We need your voice to continue to drive this industry forward.

We hope to see you there!

Your Chair,

Ed Benjamins  

Pictured: CFO Board of Directors with Hon. Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (middle)